Monarch Global Academy Laurel teacher Maria Cummings and Monarch Academy Glen Burnie teacher Sonja Bolotin are among 43 teachers nominated for Anne Arundel County’s Teacher of the Year. Monarch Global Academy Laurel and Monarch Academy Glen Burnie are charter or contract schools with Anne Arundel County Public Schools.
Sonja Bolotin teaches second grade at Monarch Academy Glen Burnie.
“Mrs. Bolotin meets each child where they are, creates a safe crew where children thrive and brings students to success as they engage in meaningful work that makes a difference. She does this while contributing to a culture of personal growth for the adults at Monarch Academy to ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to our commitment to equity,” said Monarch Academy Glen Burnie Principal Kim Jakovics. “Walking into Mrs. Bolotin’s second grade class is a magical experience. There are few places where I would rather be.”
Through Bolotin’s leadership, second grade students partnered with an author and nonprofit organization to write and illustrate a book about bees. The book was translated into Amharic and then distributed to children in Ethiopia.
“Our students, with Mrs. Bolotin’s commitment and passion for relevant learning experiences that affect the local and global community, made that happen,” Jakovics said.
Bolotin also created a reading program called the Caterpillar Club to encourage her second grade students to be excited about reading as she worked to ensure that all read on grade level by the end of their second grade year. This program brought in community volunteers and partners each morning and made reading fun and exciting for children.
Maria ‘Conchi’ Cummings teaches world and classical language to middle school students at Monarch Global Academy Laurel.
“Sra. Cummings came to us with a wealth of experience in all things Spanish. In her time at Monarch Global Academy, Conchi, as she is called, has consistently demonstrated her effectiveness as a teacher through her strong example, tireless work ethic and high expectations. Conchi’s classroom radiates a warmth that embraces her Spanish heritage,” said Monarch Global Academy Principal Donna O’Shea. “She is a true leader and team player and supports the implementation of curriculum and instruction that is both rigorous and highly differentiated to meet the needs of all learners. Parents respect Conchi because she holds high expectations for her students. They appreciate her willingness to go above and beyond, so their children succeed in Spanish.”
Cummings’ students have consistently scored high on the quarterly benchmark tests. Her students said they can tell she loves them. Positive and calm, she allows students to be creative and experience different things, they said.
Anne Arundel County Public Schools will honor Bolotin and Cummings at its 35th annual Excellence in Education Awards hosted by the 21st Century Education Foundation on April 15, 2021. The event will culminate with the announcement of the 2021 Anne Arundel County Public School Teacher of the Year, who will represent the county in the Maryland State Teacher of the Year competition.