Southern High School art teacher and department chairman Michael Bell has been named Anne Arundel County’s winner of the 2013 Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award by The Washington Post. Bell is one of 21 winners of the honor, awarded annually by the newspaper to outstanding teachers.
The awards are named for Agnes Meyer, the wife of Eugene Meyer, a former publisher of The Washington Post. They recognize “teachers who have shown initiative, creativity, and an exceptional degree of professionalism in teaching,” and are accompanied by a $3,000 award.
“Anyone who knows me – really knows me – knows how humbled and honored I am to have received this award,” Bell said. “But this isn’t for me, it’s just all about my kids. This one’s for my kids, for my principal, Marc Procaccini, for our superintendent, Dr. Maxwell, and for everyone who has the dedication and does the hard work it takes to help our kids be the very best they can be, to script confidence onto their blank pages, to help their lives have meaning.”
Bell has been an art teacher in Anne Arundel County since 1994, and has spent his entire career at Southern High School. He has been chairman of the art department since 2009.
In an endorsement letter for the award, Stacy Allen, a parent of one of Mr. Bell’s former students, wrote about the transformational experience her daughter had in art.
“He gave her what every parent dreams their child will find – a place to belong and a vision of herself as a powerful and creative leader,” Ms. Allen wrote. “Mr. Bell did so much more than teach her to paint: He helped her learn to be part of a creative community.”
Earlier this year, he received the William U. Harris Award of Excellence from the College Board for his “extraordinary leadership skills in education.”