TOWSON, MD—Two Baltimore County Public Schools leaders – Maryland Teacher of the Year Brianna Ross and Maryland State Education Association’s Education Support Professional of the Year Brad Fisher – have been named the first ever BCPS Superintendent Fellows, a new awards program for exceptional educators created by BCPS Superintendent Dr. Darryl L. Williams.
Both Ross and Fisher were honored as charter Fellows during a special reception and ceremony for the pair on Thursday, November 19, at the Greenwood administrative headquarters of BCPS. Ross was named Baltimore County’s 2021-22 Teacher of the Year in April and both she and Fisher were named state honorees in October.
The Fellows program, Dr. Williams said, “is designed to give individuals of exceptionally high promise one year of personal involvement . . . supporting educational excellence at the systemic level. Our mission is to support and cultivate innovative leaders who have an understanding – gained first-hand – of the challenges and successes that school systems face.”
To accomplish that, the program provides for the following opportunities:
- Participation in a leadership conference of the Fellow’s choosing;
- A publication platform for Fellows to serve as guest columnists to members of Team BCPS;
- Ongoing opportunities for Fellows to network with peers both across BCPS and across the state;
- Support for a “passion project” of their choosing that is aligned to the needs of BCPS.
“The purpose of the Superintendent Fellows program is to provide gifted and highly-motivated individuals with some first-hand experience collaborating across various constituencies, engaging in outreach and better understanding the complexities of leading through change,” said Dr. Williams.
Ross is currently social studies department chair, equity liaison, and summer transition program coordinator at Deer Park Magnet Middle School. A thoughtful and probing educator, Ross has worked to make her lessons relevant to the lives of her students and is a strong advocate for them, especially students of color, and their success. As Maryland’s Teacher of the Year, she will represent the state’s 60,000 public school teachers both across the state and nationally.
“Ms. Ross epitomizes what it means to be a talented teacher, dedicated professional, lifelong learner, and caring and compassionate counselor and friend to students everywhere,” Dr. Williams said.
Fisher was named Baltimore County’s Office Professional of the Year in May and has been office secretary at Shady Spring Elementary School since 2018. He has also served as an adult assistant, paraeducator, and office secretary at Elmwood Elementary School, and he exemplifies the impact that office professionals can have in the lives of their schools and the students they serve.
“I am ecstatic to be named an inaugural Superintendent’s Fellow,” Fisher said. “It is a distinguished honor to be recognized in such a large school system. Because of everyone’s encouragement, I intend to utilize this program to grant Educational Support Professionals access to peer-guided growth. My sincerest gratitude goes to BCPS for championing ESPs and being a leader for the betterment of the profession.”
Added Dr. Williams, “Mr. Fisher represents not only the best of Baltimore County’s support professionals, but the best of Maryland’s ESPs. . . . In highlighting his excellence, we hope to bring attention to education support professionals throughout the school system. They play key roles in the operations of our schools and the lives of our students.”