Annandale High School Teacher Wins NFTE Award
Marketing teacher Stephanie Harmony, who teaches a business class at AHS, has been named Rookie Teacher of the Year by the Washington, D.C. chapter of Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship
The entrepreneurship class at Annandale High School is only in its first year, but it has already garnered two awards—one for an aspiring snack foods businessman and one for his teacher. The Washington, D.C. region of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) has named AHS marketing teacher Stephanie Harmony Rookie Teacher of the Year. Harmony will share the honor with another first-time entrepreneurship teacher at the NFTE Dare to Dream Gala on Apr. 27.
Harmony’s award follows a first-place finish in the regional business plan competition by one of her students, Liam McGhee. McGhee beat out other students from the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia metro area to earn $1,500 and a bid to the national competition being held next fall.
“It’s very flattering,” Harmony said of the honors from NFTE. “I really love this organization so to be recognized by the people I really respect and have been mentored by this year makes me really very happy.”
Harmony said she wasn’t sure why she was selected for this honor. In fact, she was surprised to learn about it in an email regarding the upcoming NFTE fundraising gala event. “It said there we will honor NFTE teachers of the year, and there was my name.”
“I think I was selected because I embraced everything NFTE had to offer,” she said, referring to the various training and networking opportunities. Taking advantage of every opportunity is a lesson she drills into her students. “I tell my students you get out of it what you put in,” she said.
Each year, the NFTE D.C. office selects an instructor who is teaching the NFTE entrepreneurship curriculum for the first time as rookie of the year, according to Verice White, program director of NFTE D.C. region. Harmony, who has taught marketing in Fairfax County for 14 years, was one of seven teachers who attended NFTE certification training in the summer of 2010. She activated the NFTE program at her school in September 2010.
At the beginning of the school year, each teacher is given an incentive form that highlights the goals for teacher and student. Teachers are evaluated on attendance at mandatory NFTE professional development workshops, student classroom experience and program execution, White said.
“Stephanie ranked high in all of the aforementioned categories,” White said. “She works closely with the NFTE program staff to better understand the curriculum and offers her help in any way that she can. As a first-year teacher, her student Liam McGhee placed first in the NFTE Fall 2011 Regional Business Plan Competition. This is a wonderful and unique goal for a first year NFTE entrepreneurship teacher. With her professionalism, the understanding of the NFTE curriculum, Stephanie was selected as the 2011 NFTE DC Regional Rookie Teacher of the Year.”
This is the first year NFTE DC will honor two Rookie teachers. Harmony said she was appreciative of the organization’s support, from training she received to implement the curriculum to the classroom visits by business owners and leaders who took the time to speak to her classes.
“It’s a whole different way of teaching for me and I love it. I wish every teacher had that kind of support system,” Harmony said.
“I feel really fortunate to be teaching at Annandale and to have the support of the NFTE organization. A lot of people (and organizations) say they are all about the kids but you don’t see that in action. This organization truly is all about the kids. They mean what they say and they follow through and deliver.”