Sligo Middle School Educator Wins MCPS Teacher of the Year

Every morning — in the days before online learning — when students walked through the doors of Sligo Middle School in Silver Spring, they were greeted by Inge Chichester, a Montgomery County Public Schools teacher of 19 years.

“Good morning family! Today is ‘Thankful Thursday’! Thank you for coming to school today Stallions!” Chichester would say to students through her familiar bullhorn.

On May 15, Chichester was named the MCPS Teacher of the Year for 2020-2021 at a virtual award ceremony. MyMCMedia recently spoke with Chichester about the prestigious honor and her teaching style.

Chichester is currently the Social Studies Content Specialist at Sligo and is described by one teacher as “contagious positive.” As a proud Sligo Stallion, she considers her students and colleagues as her family. All her conversations with students end with her personal motto, “I love you to life!”

“I believe that all learners, whether adults or children, learn best in a safe, structured, and nurturing environment,” Chichester said.

Even while she teaches online, Chichester’s “contagious” positivity continues to shine through. She always keeps her well known bullhorn nearby, as well as a set of pompoms. Since schools moved to online learning, Chichester has made an effort to call the families of one of her students each day, to check in and see if she can help refer them to any resources during this trying time.

MCPS is planning to honor Chichester, along with other educators, in late summer or early fall at its annual Champions for Children celebration at Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club. She will now go on to compete for the Maryland Teacher of the Year Award.

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About Deirdre Byrne

Deirdre Byrne is a social media coordinator for Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at dbyrne@mymcmedia.org or on twitter at @DeirdreByrneMCM.

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