Loyola University Maryland
November 9, 2021
Brianna Ross was named the 2021-22 Maryland Teacher of the Year by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). Ross, who is originally from Upper Darby, Pa., earned her certificate in administration and supervision from Loyola University Maryland in 2019. She currently serves as the equity liaison and social studies department chair at Deer Park Middle School in Randallstown, Md.
“It’s important to recondition and reframe the narrative [about education],” said Ross. “I feel strongly that teaching should be grounded in love for our students. Teaching is a revolutionary act of love.”
As Teacher of the Year, Ross will spend the upcoming year as a speaker and advisor, representing the State of Maryland at meetings and events hosted by the National Teacher of the Year Program.
“I loved Loyola’s program because the courses had social justice threaded throughout,” said Ross. “Dr. Flores-Koulish has been and continues to be a great mentor and I hope to provide the same framework of social justice in my teaching and experiences in educational leadership.”
Ross holds a Bachelor of Science in applied developmental psychology and a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction, both from University of Pittsburgh; she is currently pursuing her doctorate in urban educational leadership from Morgan State University. Ross aspires to further her career in school leadership where she can lead schools of Black and Brown students, foster community engagement, assess needs, and make connections. She also would like to work as an adjunct faculty member where she can mentor first-year teachers and provide an immersive experience.
“The recognition of Ms. Brianna Ross as the 2021-22 Maryland Teacher of the Year is an extraordinary achievement and well-deserved acknowledgment of the profound educational, inspirational, and transformational difference she makes in the lives of her students, her community, and our state,” said Cheryl Moore-Thomas, Ph.D., acting provost and vice president for academic affairs. “We are honored that Ms. Ross chose Loyola as part of her educational preparation. Her excellence and commitment drive what we do as educators and sets the bar of excellence that well serves Maryland’s K-12 learners.”
In her role at Deer Park Middle School, Ross works with teachers to understand biases and stereotypes. She also coordinates a Summer Transition Program to help elementary students prepare for and thrive in middle school.
“We are of proud of Ms. Briana Ross's achievement as the 2021-22 Maryland Teacher of the Year,” said Afra Hersi, Ph.D., interim dean of the School of Education and professor of literacy teacher education. “She is truly driving education forward through her excellence and commitment to equity.”