Montgomery County Winners
School: Montrose Christian School
Nominated by: Giang Tran
History, Government, Logic and Debate Teacher Montrose Christian School Why does Douglas Kump teach? "To give my students a passion for learning and an awareness of what is going on in the world so that they can change it for the better," says the Montrose Christian School teacher. An educator now for eight years, Kump teaches classes in history, government, and logic and debate. The debate team, which has numerous accomplishments to its credit, was featured in an Al Jazeera English TV documentary, which can be viewed by typing in "We the People racial stereotype" at youtube.com. Kump received his B.A. from Washington Bible College. He is completing his M.Div. at Liberty University and J.D. at California School of Law. His intent is "to also be an attorney focusing on religious freedom law." His favorite moment as a teacher comes when he receives emails and phone calls from former students "who consistently tell me they are focusing and mastering their chosen field and profession. I believe in mastering a subject so that one makes an original and enduring contribution in their area of specialization." When it comes to advice, there are two things he recommends to prospective teachers: "Love your subject and love your students." The person Kump most admires is Saint Francis of Assisi. "He was an individual who lived consistently with his principles and always treated others as more important than himself. He is the most brilliant and beautiful example of genuine sacrificial love towards all people." While Kump may not have a favorite book, he does have a favorite document - the U.S. Constitution. "I think it is the most close-to-perfect legal document ever devised in the history of humanity. It truly guarantees the intrinsic rights of all people to live in freedom."
School: Rocky Hill Middle School
Nominated by: Daniela Hernandez-Fujigaki
Music Teacher Rocky Hill Middle School "I want to make a difference in the lives of children. I love the middle school age because they grow so much in that three-year span. To have a chance to influence that in a positive way is an amazing opportunity. Music is a great vehicle by which I can connect with students and help them connect with each other and themselves," says Paul Heinemann. Now in his 13th year of teaching, Heinemann is the choral director at Rocky Hill Middle School. A graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Heinemann earned his B.S. in music education. We're he not a teacher, he would be "either a stay at home dad - I love spending time with my family and working around my house. Or a musical theatre music director - I love musicals and helping students bring out the character in a song." Heinemann's favorite moment as a teacher goes back to "the first time I invited former students to come back and perform with us on our spring concert. There were over 30 alumni in high school, college, and out of college that came back to perform with their middle school chorus program; that meant so much to me." The best piece of advice he's been given as a teacher is that "teaching is like planting seeds. You do what you can and sometimes you don't always get to see them grow." Heinemann's advice to someone contemplating a career in the classroom is to "remember that you influence every child that walks in your door. Whether you realize it or not, your impact is profound. If you do anything for a child, make sure you do what you can to make them a better person." Sally Wagner at Eleanor Roosevelt High School is the teacher who most influenced Heinemann. "She was my band director and was incredibly caring. Her teaching style, her ability to make the class engaging, her knack for inspiring us to work hard without realizing it and her welcoming manner have helped shape me into the teacher I have chosen to be." The person he most admires is his dad. "Without realizing it, he influenced my path into music and into teaching as a former choir director, church musician, teacher and principal." "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" is Heinemann's favorite book. It's "just a great finish to an incredible series. I've read them three times."
School: Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School
Nominated by: Charlotte Wenk
3rd Grade Teacher Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School "I teach because I want to make a difference in the world and help my students learn to be compassionate, kind, thoughtful citizens of the 21st century," says MollyBeth Rushfield, a 3rd-grade teacher at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (JDS). Rushfield has taught for 20 years, 11 of them at JDS. If she weren't a teacher, Rusfield "would be a camp professional so I could still have a chance to make a difference in children's lives through informal education. I can't help it; I love what I do!!" After receiving a B.S. in elementary education from the University of Maryland, College Park, Rushfield earned a B.H.L. in Hebrew and a master's in Jewish education from the University of Judaism, now known as American Jewish University. No one favorite teaching moment stands out in Rushfield's mind. "I have favorite moments every single day. Each time I see a student act in a kind and caring way, I am quietly thrilled. I live for the 'I get it' moments. Seeing how students creatively solve problems astounds me more often than anyone can imagine. Some of my favorite moments are small and some are hugely obvious, but I'm so grateful I can recognize them for what they are and appreciate them for the miracles they are." The best advice Rushfield has received during her teaching career "has been to always 'state my expectations.' That quote comes from my supervising teacher when I was a student teacher in 1990, Mindy Gillman, who is still a close friend and still encourages me." Many teachers have influenced Rushfield. "Mindy Gillman helped me hone my skills as a student teacher when I was just beginning. Mr. Friedlander, my high school chemistry teacher at Sherwood High School, is the reason I wanted to become a teacher in the first place. My 3rd-grade team members at JDS influence me and support me daily, and whenever I can, I ask myself, 'What would Penina do?' Penina Freedenberg is the former director of 3rd and 4th grades at JDS who inspired me daily to think outside the box and to be myself as a teacher. It is her grandmother, Frances Broder, who Rushfield most admires. "She is 105 years old and has never been afraid to offer her opinion and make suggestions especially when I didn't think I didn't want to hear them. I admire her strength, health, and ability to clearly focus on the main objective." When it comes to reading, her favorite children's book author is Patricia Polacco. "I love all of her books but, if I had to pick one, I guess I'd go with 'Mrs. Katz and Tush.' My favorite grown-up book is 'The Red Tent' by Anita Diamont. I love that book because it shows Torah from the point of view of the women who can sometimes be forgotten.