A Great End of the Year for the Teacher of the Year

2021 Montgomery County Public Schools Teacher of the Year Wins Car from Fitzgerald Auto Mall

2021 Teacher of the Year Car3On April 28, 2021, Joseph Bostic, Jr. was named the 2021 Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Teacher of the Year during the Champions for Children virtual ceremony.

Bostic is a math content specialist and 8th grade team leader at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School. Some of his numerous qualifications include reducing truancies schoolwide from more than 33 percent to less than 25 percent; holding “jam sessions” to help students with math work; creating the school’s math webpage; and increasing teacher diversity through MCPS’ Conversation Series and the Building Our Network of Diversity (BOND) project.

“I’m very grateful and it’s a blessed opportunity to be Montgomery County Teacher of the Year,” Bostic said.

As part of his award, Bostic received a brand new car, courtesy of Fitzgerald Auto Mall in Rockville, Maryland. Usually, the car is presented to the Teacher of the Year at the Champions for Children event, but this was not possible due to the virtual nature of the event this year.

Instead, on June 18, 2021, Bostic spent the newly-official federal Juneteenth holiday signing the one-year lease for his new car – a new 2021 Hyundai Sonata SEL model. Bostic was joined by John J. “Jack” Fitzgerald and Rob Smith of Fitzgerald Auto Mall as well as the MCPS Educational Foundation (Foundation) Executive Director, Yolanda Johnson Pruitt, at a small ceremony on the showroom floor.

2021 Teacher of the Year Joseph Bostic Jr. with Foundation Executive Director Yolanda Johnson Pruitt (right) and his wife (left)“I want to congratulate Joseph Bostic on his selection as the 2021 Teacher of the Year,” said Pruitt at the presentation of the car, “and I want to thank all of our sponsors in addition to [the] Fitzgerald Auto Mall family for their support of this really special event.”

Fitzgerald first provided a car to the Teacher of the Year award winner in 2005. However, the partnership between Fitzgerald and MCPS began more than 40 years ago when Dottie Fitzgerald (Jack Fitzgerald’s sister) created a training program for MCPS students. Fitzgerald Auto Mall is also active with the Foundation. Smith is a current Board of Director and Jack Fitzgerald is an honorary director.

Bostic was one of three finalists for the award, including Sara Kopf from New Hampshire Estates Elementary School and Patricia Richards from Walter Johnson High School. All finalists were nominated for the award by a principal, colleague, administrator, parent, or Parent Teacher Association (PTA) representative.

“When you meet Mr. Bostic you know immediately how his character comes through to reach middle school students to make them feel valued,” said Smith. “He approaches life with such a thankful heart that you are immediately drawn in.”

The Marian Greenblatt Education Fund has provided the award since 1989. Marian Greenblatt was a former member and president of the Montgomery County Board of Education (BOE). A committee of educators, including MCPS staff and BOE members, as well as a representative from the Greenblatt family select the winner.

The MCPS Teacher of the Year also receives $2,000, a laptop computer, and other prizes. However, the car was particularly fortuitous for Bostic.

“To be honest, I’ve been riding around for a year without a vehicle,” an emotional Bostic said, “so to have a vehicle of your own… it’s just a testament to the work and craft that we all do as teachers in Montgomery County. For me, I’ll cherish this moment forever.”

Sounds like the perfect start to this teacher’s summer break.