DC Teacher of the Year

Justin Lopez-Cardoze, DC 2020 Teacher of the Year

Announcing the District of Columbia’s 2020 Teacher of the Year –
7th Grade Science Teacher Justin Lopez-Cardoze! 

Justin Lopez-Cardoze, 2020 DC Teacher of the Year

Mayor Muriel Bowser, Superintendent of Education Hanseul Kang, DC Public Charter School Board Executive Director Scott Pearson, and other esteemed guests, including Justin’s mother and husband, visited Capital City on October 2, 2019 to surprise Justin in front of our entire Middle School with this prestigious and well-deserved honor.

See highlights of Justin's DC Teacher of the Year announcement on local news!

"The Teacher of the Year program celebrates outstanding educators who are accelerating growth for all students and who demonstrate leadership beyond the classroom," explained Superintendent of Education Kang. "He will serve as a fantastic ambassador for teachers in Washington, DC," Mayor Bowser exclaimed.  Watch the full event here.

Justin is the first Latino to win the Office of the State Superintendent of Education DC Teacher of the Year award. In his fourth year at Capital City, Justin is the Middle School Science Department Lead, member of the Middle School Instructional Leadership Team, and a member of our Equity Core Committee. More importantly, he is beloved by our staff, students, and families.

"I love watching Justin with students – getting excited right along with them, laughing, having fun, and making sure he creates a new generation of scientists," Middle School Principal and 2018 EL Education Silverberg Leadership Awardee, Laina Cox shared. "He represents so much of what I know DC wants to see in their educators. Being DC Teacher of the Year, he will be able to shed more light on how best to be a teacher focused on equity, a teacher who both exemplifies and teaches compassion, and a teacher who meets students where they are and lifts them higher."

Justin Lopez-Cardoze and Mayor Bowser with Teacher of the Year award

As DC Teacher of the Year, Justin received $7,500 from the Executive Office of the Mayor and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education. A reflection of his deep commitment to his students, he plans to turn his award into a scholarship for a student interested in a career in STEM.

Learn more about Justin and the DC Teacher of the Year award in this press release.