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DC teacher one of 5 finalists for national teacher award

Each year, since 1952, the president of the United States has recognized the "National Teacher of the Year" at a White House ceremony in the spring.

WASHINGTON — D.C.'s 2023 Teacher of the Year is not only being recognized by the District - he has now been selected as one of five finalists for the 2023 National Teacher of the Year.  

Jermar “Coach” Rountree is a pre-K to eighth grade health and physical education teacher at Center City Public Charter School’s Brightwood campus. He is now the third D.C. Teacher of the Year to be in the running for the national honor since 2005.

As an educator with 16 years of experience under his belt, Coach Rountree approaches his work holistically with the children and the school community. In addition to his work at Center City PCS, he also serves as the District Teacher Lead for the Physical Education and Health Department. 

“Teaching is where I belong,” said Jermar Rountree. “I love what I do and that will not change. I am dedicated to my kids, families, and colleagues. That is what pushes me along no matter what. I want to be that trusted person, that father figure, that coach that my students can rely on no matter what. I am so honored to represent the District of Columbia as a finalist for National Teacher of the Year.”

Rountree's career began in 2008 working with youth of all ages at a YMCA in Connecticut. Soon after, he launched a business that instructed childcare staff on how to provide safe and fun physical education. In 2012, he moved to D.C. and began teaching physical education and health for elementary school students. 

Six years ago, he began his journey at Center City PCS.

“We are so lucky to have Jermar as a teacher here,” said Rachel Tommelleo, principal at Center City PCS-Brightwood. “He goes above and beyond for our students, his colleagues, and our community members every single day.”

Rountree does more than just teach in the community, he has also hosted fitness classes and health-focused events for families, including a back-to-school BBQ, a fun run, and a family movie night. He also helped streamline Center City PCS-Brightwood’s before- and after-school clubs program and  launched a swimming program for middle school students.

One of the finalists, which includes Rountree, will be named the 2023 National Teacher of the Year this spring by a national selection committee and will spend the next year traveling the country as an ambassador for education and an advocate for all teachers and students. 

Each year, since 1952, the president of the United States has recognized the National Teacher of the Year at a White House ceremony in the spring.

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