Mr. Berry Wins Washington Post’s HCPSS Teacher of the Year

In this time of seemingly all bad news, some recent news came out that is sure to put a smile on your face. After being nominated for the Washington Post’s Teacher of the Year award, Niklas Berry, social studies teacher at Oakland Mills High School, was selected as the winner. 

Every year, the Washington Post awards a Maryland teacher the “Washington Post Teacher of the Year” award. It is given out to “recognize teachers who exemplify excellence in their profession.” Mr. Berry not only exemplifies excellence but he truly exceeds these expectations.

Berry is a history teacher at Oakland Mills High School and is also the social studies team leader. He has been teaching for seven years, all of which have been at Oakland Mills. Over those seven years, Berry has led with his best foot forward, making long-lasting impressions on all of the students he has taught. With his constructive and kind approach to teaching, it would be an understatement to say that he has been a positive influence for students and the OM community. To celebrate this award, he was given a surprise ceremony on April 15th at OMHS. Dr. Michael Martirano, the superintendent of HCPSS, along with Mr. Berry’s parents, surprised him to celebrate this nomination. A reception is planned by the superintendent to be held on September 23rd of this year.

Mr. Berry was nominated by Ms. Anderson-Little who is a friend and coworker of Berry’s. She was a big proponent in his positive impact on students and stated that he is “incredibly passionate about teaching.” Anderson-Little believes that he could easily move up to become a principal or anything higher up in the school system, but he continues to teach due to the love for it. She says that he often makes strong and long lasting relationships with students. Students that had him freshman year have asked for recommendations from him due to the memorable and beneficial experiences they had in his class. Berry’s kind-spirited approach to teaching is truly the epitome of what all teachers aspire to be.

Being passionate and a positive resource for students is just the tip of the iceberg. According to Ms. Anderson-Little, Berry is “always the guy to say yes. If you’re having trouble with something, Mr. Berry will always say yes to helping out. It’s like no isn’t in the guy’s vocabulary.” She believes that Berry will always volunteer his time to help another student, teacher, or friend. He does not hesitate to help and is a natural born leader. 

Ms. Anderson-Little has known Mr. Berry since high school, yet really got to become friends with him while working together here at OM. “My first impression of him… was that he had the warmest and kindest soul right off the bat and really cared about what he was doing,” says Anderson-Little in reference to Berry. Other students seem to adore him along with having fond memories of his class.

Mr. Berry makes strong, everlasting impressions and friendships with students, while always having a smile on his face. He is a great leader and a passionate teacher that wants to help the OM community as much as possible. Mr. Berry is an example of an outstanding teacher that truly cares and wants to see students succeed, which is why he is the perfect candidate to be recognized by the Washington Post.

Congratulation, Mr. Berry!

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