Educator of the Month

  • Educator of the Month The Board of Education honors an instructional leader whose work is literally closing the reading achievement gap in Anne Arundel County Public Schools.  As an educator for 12 years, Jane Friend, Coordinator of Elementary Reading and Integrated Literacy, believes in the power of reading – the door that opens possibilities for all students to be college and career ready.  Ms. Friend is devoted to literacy development of our youngest learners.  During her tenure with the Elementary Reading office, she worked relentlessly with colleagues from multiple offices to develop a balanced literacy curriculum for Kindergarten through fifth grade.  She collaborates with central office staff to secure the necessary resources to support students and classroom teachers. 

    Jane Friend’s passion for growing both her students and her staff is remarkable.  She has implemented unprecedented change in elementary reading instruction and AACPS is seeing amazing results.  The students who started kindergarten the same year Ms. Friend was hired as coordinator, have gone from 66% meeting/exceeding grade level reading expectation to 81% at the end of their second grade.  Yes, Jane’s work is literally closing the reading achievement gap! 

    Jane has built an incredible team to lead our Elementary Focus work with our principals, our Reading Teachers, and all our 3,000+ elementary classroom teachers and their support staff members.  She has been the mastermind of the implementation of our Elementary Intentional Focus: “All students reading at or above grade level by the end of 2nd grade.”  Her passion for early literacy is driving the work, and her clear mission to accelerate students reading not only eliminates gaps in 2nd grade by also reduces the chance of gaps persisting in later years, as reading is a foundational skill for all future courses. 

    Jane Friend is not only one of the finest instructional resources that our county has, she is also the moral compass of the Elementary Reading Office.  She goes beyond normal preparations to plan system-wide professional development opportunities for principals, reading teachers and classroom teachers.  As an instructional leader Ms. Friend collaborates with school teams to support progress monitoring of student growth. She is an empathic individual who can sense that someone has a need and she will offer assistance even before they ask. 

    Ms. Friend – you, like our students, are a lifelong learner – always on the cutting edge of the latest research which you enthusiastically share with your colleagues. Reading teachers always look forward to your monthly symposiums, as they know they will be productive and meaningful.  You have the gift to motivate colleagues who trust your thoughtful and deliberate decision to ensure student success.   So, on behalf of the students, teachers and staff of Anne Arundel County Public Schools, the Board of Education is honored to recognize you Educator of the Month.  Congratulations!