Thursday, Jun 2, 2022
Jordan Markwood '07 honored with award
by Katie Nicholas
Jordan Markwood '07 was named this year’s Teacher of the Year by The Washington Post.
Markwood is the chair and choral director of the Fine Arts Department at Rock Ridge High School in Loudoun County, Virginia. He sponsors the school’s Music Honor Society, a cappella club and musical theater shows.
But it’s his effort beyond the music that makes Markwood stand out. After school was virtual for so long, Markwood noticed how stressful the return to in-person instruction was for his students.
“Even just having conversation and maintaining eye contact, or giving positive affirmations to other people was challenging and uncomfortable,” Markwood, who holds a Master of Music in Voice Pedagogy and Performance from Westminster Choir College of Rider University, told The Washington Post.
To remedy this, he implemented practices designed to make his students feel comfortable as they returned to the classroom, including introducing a gratitude box and bonding exercises.
These changes have allowed them to grow more sensitive to their peers.
“I feel like the students have been more empathetic toward one another because of what they experienced,” he told The Washington Post.
Markwood was chosen from among 18 finalists in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. The honor comes with a $7,500 award, a half-page advertisement, a trophy and a profile in The Washington Post.