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2013 Excellence in Teaching Award Winner

Hardett Taylor-Brown, Elementary Science Resource Teacher, Cleveland Elementary School

Hardett class 1

Following her summer job as a 13-year-old teacher’s aide with the D.C. Department of Recreation, Hardett Taylor-Brown knew she wanted to teach young children. After attending Park View Elementary, Banneker and Lincoln Junior High Schools, and Cardozo Senior High School, and earning undergraduate and graduate degrees from Howard University, Ms. Taylor-Brown chose to return to DCPS, where she has taught for nearly 24 years. Working with classes from pre-K to 5th grade, she pushes all of her students to achieve, telling them, “Your attitude determines your altitude,” and is encouraged by how many of her students go on to be successful in advanced science courses at the secondary level. She also promotes curiosity by leading hands-on activities that challenge students to formulate questions and then seek their own answers. Ms. Taylor-Brown has established partnerships with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, local meteorologists, and other nature-based learning programs to enrich her students’ science education.

Ms. Taylor-Brown thinks of her school as an “efficient machine,” and says that the entire staff—administration, support staff, teaching colleagues, and building maintenance— follow a professional motto adopted by a former principal, Mrs. Annie Mair: “We don’t look good unless we all look good.” Ms. Taylor-Brown has also been an active participant in shaping the district’s science education program, helping to select textbooks and write elementary science curriculum. Throughout her career she has designed extracurricular opportunities and science fairs for her students, initiating programs like the Science Challengers, the Young Inventors Club, and the Electric Race Car Club. Ms. Taylor-Brown proudly considers herself a “drum major for elementary science instruction,” because “it positions our children to be the next set of movers and innovators!”

Watch Hardett Taylor-Brown’s tribute video.