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Office of News & Public Affairs

Two Lynch School of Education Alumnae
Honored for Teaching Excellence

hope harrod, m.ed. ’00, named washington, d.c., 'teacher of the year'


CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (January 2013) – Two graduates of Boston College's Lynch School of Education and its Donovan Urban Teaching Scholars Program have been honored with the Excellence in Teaching Award and a $10,000 prize from the District of Columbia Public Schools.

Hope Harrod, M.Ed. ’00, a fifth-grade teacher at the Burroughs Education Campus, and Mayra Canizales, M.Ed. ’09, an instructional coach at the Columbia Heights Education Campus, were among seven teachers honored Jan. 14 at the Standing Ovation for D.C. Teachers ceremony, hosted by the D.C. Public Education Fund at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Harrod was also named the D.C.P.S. Teacher of the Year.

"It was a remarkable evening, and a joy to see two Donovan scholars share the spotlight, and be honored by the district, city and their peers for their innovation, passion and deep commitment to urban youth and families,” said Catherine Wong, the Lynch School’s Director of Urban Outreach Initiatives, who attended the ceremony.

Winners are nominated by D.C.P.S. educators, students, parents, and community members, and then selected by a central office panel. Eligible teachers must earn a rating of Highly Effective under the district’s IMPACT performance measurement program.

“I became a teacher because I wanted to be a part of helping to develop a generation of children who love learning,” Harrod, a D.C. teacher for 11 years, said in a profile posted on the school district website. “I love to watch as students come to realize that their ideas and opinions matter.”

In addition to her classroom teaching, Harrod mentors colleagues, coordinates book fairs and organizes after-school math labs. A faculty member with Teaching America History. (Harrod discussed her work in a 'Standing Ovation' video.)

A sixth-grade English teacher for the past four years before becoming an instructional coach this year, Canizales said she is working toward making D.C.P.S. one of the highest performing urban districts in the country. (Canizales' 'Standing Ovation' video.)

“I knew that I would be challenged, supported, and developed in this district – it’s the best choice I could have ever made!” Canizales said in her profile. She described her teaching as “a balance between high academic and behavior expectations, care, humor, and a deep belief that every child has multiple gifts and talents waiting to be uncovered, developed, or polished.”

In addition to her instructional coach role, Canizales serves as faculty for the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT) at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., where she has taught and mentored aspiring teachers of color, directing many to graduate school programs, including the Donovan Scholars program.

Wong, who directs the Donovan Scholars program, said both teachers relish the challenges of the classroom and the chance to encourage new and prospective teachers.

“Both remarked that they are continuously honing and refining their craft of teaching, and cherish the opportunity to advise and advocate for the next generation of aspiring urban educators," said Wong.

Named in honor of the Lynch School’s founding dean, Rev. Charles F. Donovan, SJ, the Donovan Urban Teaching Scholars Program is an intensive 12-month master’s degree program in teacher preparation with annually readies a group of up to 30 graduate students to teach in urban schools.

--Ed Hayward is associate director of the Office of News & Public Affairs;