Release Date: 4/26/2018
Contact: Office of Communications, 443.809.5908

Lyons Mill Elementary School educator Brendan Penn named 2018-19 BCPS Teacher of the Year

Lyons Mill Elementary School educator Brendan Penn named 2018-19 BCPS Teacher of the Year
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TOWSON – Good teachers build positive relationships with their students. That was one of the take away messages from Wilson Smith’s introduction of his Grade 3 teacher, Brendan Penn. At the time of his introduction, neither Smith nor Penn knew that, later that evening, the Lyons Mill Elementary School teacher would be named 2018-2019 Baltimore County Public Schools Teacher of the Year.

Smith was simply sharing what makes Penn so special in his view. He likened Penn to Mr. Feeny, the kind, polite, patient teacher on the television show Boy Meets World, which aired its last new episode 18 years ago. Smith said that Penn was someone he could talk to and be honest with, someone who encouraged all students to believe in themselves and to be leaders.

“Mr. Penn is serious, but he can also be funny,” Smith said. “He makes up songs to help us remember multiplication facts and a dance to help us remember the difference between columns and rows.”

BCPS Interim Superintendent Verletta White named Penn as Teacher of the Year during an April 25 awards ceremony held at George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology in Towson.

“Brendan Penn brings expertise, commitment, and creativity to his work every day," White said. “He exemplifies the leaders we have in classrooms across the county who inspire and challenge our students to new levels of academic achievement."

As Baltimore County's latest Teacher of the Year, Penn will represent Team BCPS and compete for the honor of Maryland State Teacher of the Year. He will appear across multiple venues to champion the teaching profession as well as what it means to be an educator in BCPS.

Penn has been teaching for six years – the first three at Randallstown Elementary and since then at Lyons Mill Elementary. At Lyons Mill, Penn has been a robotics liaison, PTA liaison, webmaster, Maryland STEM festival host, and leader of the school’s Vex Robotics and LEGO teams. Under Penn’s leadership, the school’s VEX Robotics team – in its first full year of competition – qualified for and will soon participate in the VEX Robotics World Championships.

Penn’s background includes earning a bachelor’s degree from Long Island University and a master’s equivalency from Morgan State University.

In his Teacher of the Year application, Penn wrote, “My parents made significant financial sacrifices to give me advantages. Now, it is my turn. Increasing diversity of future leaders in science and engineering is crucial. I am passionate about working with diverse populations as a role model exposing students to experiences that interest and engage them in a cutting edge manner particularly in technology, robotics and maker learning. In 2018, I feel the importance of the moment. I am preparing students for some careers that do not exist. It is imperative for students to be inspired and filled with wonder while developing 21st century skills.”

In addition to Penn, five other finalists were honored during Wednesday’s ceremony. They are:

  • Kimberly Burton-Regulski, department chair for mathematics, engineering, instructional technology, and computer science, Eastern Technical High.
  • Catherine Flanagan, visual arts teacher, Victory Villa Elementary.
  • Dr. Leonora Lipinski, science teacher and Biomedical Sciences Program coordinator, Perry Hall High.
  • Robert Russell, physical education teacher and dance club supervisor, Cockeysville Middle.
  • Alison Tunison, instrumental music teacher and steel drum band conductor, Lutherville Laboratory.
The Teacher of the Year receives a variety of awards and gifts from the school system, the Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools, and Baltimore County's business community. The BCPS Teacher and Principal of the Year program thanks The Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools and National Teachers Associates Life Insurance (NTA Life) for their support.

In addition to NTA Life, the following organizations and individuals contributed gifts, through The Education Foundation, to BCPS outstanding educators: American Visionary Art Museum, an anonymous friend, Author Farrell Maddox, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore Museum of Industry, BCPS Department of Information Technology, Boscov’s – White Marsh Mall, Climb Zone, Fast Park and Relax at BWI, First Financial Federal Credit Union, Genesee Valley Outdoor Learning Center, Hot Spots Before & After Care Program, iFly Baltimore, Ironmark – Bill Hendrix, Lakeshore Learning Materials, Medieval Times, Clark Skidmore, Nelson Coleman Jewelers, Office Depot/Office Max, Open Door Before & After School Care, Padonia Park Club, Santoni’s Marketplace and Catering, and Superior Tours.

Visit the BCPS News Center and BCPS News Archive to explore more BCPS news!

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