Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

DC Teacher Named National Teacher of the Year Finalist

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) selected on Jan. 25 Jermar “Coach” Rountree as one of five finalists for the 2023 National Teacher of the Year award. 

The CCSSO is a nonprofit organization of public officials who lead the departments of elementary and secondary education within the United States. Since 2000, the organization has run the annual National Teacher of the Year (NTOY) Program in order to promote leadership skills in educators while also celebrating their talents.

Rountree teaches health and physical education to students ranging from pre-K to eighth grade at Center City Public Charter School’s Brightwood Campus, and he also works as the District Teacher Lead for the Physical Education and Health Department. 

Rountree has been an educator for 16 years. Rountree also spent time leading the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) Physical Education Cadre, which evaluates D.C. elementary through secondary school health curricula and shares the information with local physical educators. 

Rountree said he is honored to represent D.C. given his passion for his students and education as a whole. 

“I love what I do and that will not change. I am dedicated to my kids, families, and colleagues. That is what pushes me along no matter what,” Rountree said in a Jan. 25 press release from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D). “I want to be that trusted person, that father figure, that coach that my students can rely on no matter what.”

Rountree began teaching in 2008 as an educator at the YMCA in Danbury, Conn., according to the press release. When he moved to Washington, D.C., in 2012, he started teaching elementary school students in both health and physical education.

Rountree has since hosted numerous health-focused events for families and launched various programs at Center City PCS-Brightwood, according to the press release. 

“Rountree also helped streamline Center City PCS-Brightwood’s before- and after-school clubs program; launched a swimming program for middle school students; and organized fun programs such as a fencing, wrestling and cooking clubs, and family boot camps,” the press release read.

Rountree is only one of three D.C. teachers who have been in the running for the National Teacher achievement since 2005, according to the press release. 

“Teaching is where I belong,” said Rountree in the press release. “I want to be that trusted person, that father figure, that coach that my students can rely on no matter what. I am so honored to represent the District of Columbia as a finalist for National Teacher of the Year.”

The CCSSO selects four finalists from a group of 57 teachers. The finalists are then interviewed by a selection committee that includes representatives from 16 different education and community organizations.

@jermar_rountree/Twitter | The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) selected DC health and physical education teacher Jermar Rountree as a finalist for the 2023 National Teacher of the Year Award.

The CCSSO coordinates the selection process, and the selection committee itself makes the final decisions on the basis of key indicators of teaching expertise, said CCSSO Press Secretary Carolyn Phenicie. 

“The Selection Committee reads teachers’ written applications to determine finalists,” Phenicie wrote to The Hoya. “They’re looking for teachers who are experts in the field; build collaborative relationships with colleagues, students and families; deliberately connect the classroom to community; are lifelong learners; and express themselves in engaging and clear ways.”

The announced finalists will interview with the selection committee in-person, according to Phenicie. Following the committee’s review process, one teacher will be named the 2023 National Teacher of the Year in the spring, and the winner will spend the full year as an ambassador for education, traveling across the U.S. and advocating for teachers and students. 

The finalist is also recognized as National Teacher of the Year by President Joe Biden in a ceremony that takes place at the White House.  

State Superintendent Dr. Christina Grant said Coach Rountree represents all of the essential qualities of an educator.

“At a time when our young students need positive role models who care deeply about their lives, in school, at home, and in the community, Coach Rountree is the educator we need – here in the District of Columbia and nationally,” Grant said in the press release. “As 2023 DC Teacher of the Year, Coach Rountree has shown us how to meaningfully connect with our families, support our students, and build healthy school communities where everyone thrives.”

Bowser said she is grateful for the work of Rountree’s health education initiatives in the District.

“Jermar Rountree is an outstanding educator, a leader in his school and community, a role model for teachers across the District, and a vital source of support and inspiration for the students and families he serves,” Bowser said in the Jan. 25 release. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Georgia Russello
Georgia Russello, Senior Features Editor
Georgia Russello is a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences from Pelham, N.Y., studying psychology with minors in biology and journalism. She is terrified of birds. [email protected]

Comments (0)

All The Hoya Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *