Maryland's 2022-23 Teacher of the Year, Berol Dewdney, Ed '21 (MS), doesn't shy away from conversations about class and equity, having grown up in poverty in a small town in Vermont. Today, she teaches students from low-income families at the Commodore John Rodgers School in Baltimore—a perfect fit for Dewdney, who believes all children deserve a quality education.
After earning her bachelor's degree from Colby College in Maine, Dewdney joined Teach for America in 2013 and landed her top-choice placement in Baltimore City Public Schools, where she has since piloted Tools of the Mind, an early childhood curriculum rooted in neuroscience, across a network of "turnaround schools" receiving government funding to improve outcomes.
"To build equity in education across our country, we have to get early childhood right as we redefine what it means to teach pre-kindergarten," she says. "People think teaching preschool is a form of babysitting, but it's really about growing brains."