LANHAM – Robert Goddard Montessori’s Karuna Skariah is one of the most decorated educators in Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS). Her resume is four pages long and each line adds to her story. “I have a little bit of a unique resume from other teachers,” Skariah said. “I do a lot of teaching here, […]
LANHAM – Robert Goddard Montessori’s Karuna Skariah is one of the most decorated educators in Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS).
Her resume is four pages long and each line adds to her story.
“I have a little bit of a unique resume from other teachers,” Skariah said. “I do a lot of teaching here, but then I do a lot of outreach work.”
Among her many accolades, perhaps the two that stand out the most are her National Board Certification and her Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship.
Through her fellowship, she was able to take a trip to the Galapagos Islands to study for 10 days. She took what she learned from that trip to help develop a global literacy lesson plan for her students.
Skariah is currently an instructional programs coordinator and a Talented and Gifted teacher at Robert Goddard, but she has also taken on many roles throughout PGCPS and the education realm.
She started working with PGCPS in 2001 when she and her daughter moved from Nepal. Soon after she sought and earned her certificate as a National Board Certified Teacher.
“In 2006 there were only eight of us in the whole county and in 2007, central office asked me to come in and coach other teachers to go through National Board,” Skariah said.
And that process isn’t easy. Skariah said getting a National Board certification can take up to three years and it is a “labor intensive process.” The pass rate is only 40 percent.
But Skariah has beat those odds, passionately mentoring other teachers in PGCPS through the process. While there were only eight National Board Certified PGCPS teachers in 2006, with 32 district-wide, the school system now has more than 300.
“Prince George’s County has an amazing program for teachers,” she said. “Every year I mentor and every year successfully. “
Skariah finds joy in helping her fellow teachers become better and often spends her free time – snow days included – helping them with their applications.
Though National Board certification is important, Skariah said she really does it for the students – to help the teachers better reach them.
“All it takes is one reflective teacher to impact 35 kids and it goes on and on,” she said. “At the end, it’s always about the students.”
Skariah has also served on many school-based committees including the 2016 diversity task force set up by PGCPS Chief Executive Officer Kevin Maxwell. On top of that she co-hosted a panel discussion with Acting Secretary of Education John King at the First National Teacher Leadership Summit after a six-day delegation trip to Berlin.