(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) today named Dr. Kevin Maxwell, Chief Executive Officer of Prince George's County Public Schools, as CBF 2014 Educator of the Year. Maxwell has made environmental literacy for all students one of his top educational priorities, and was instrumental in making Maryland a national leader in environmental education.
"Dr. Maxwell has been a tireless champion of environmental education", said CBF President Will Baker. "He knows what hundreds of classroom teachers and building principals have discovered in Maryland. Students learn outside. New studies and case studies confirm students' minds light up out of doors."
The announcement of Dr. Maxwell's award was made at the Maryland State Board of Education meeting.
Dr. Maxwell is the CEO of Prince George's County Public Schools—one of the largest school systems in the nation. Prior to taking the helm in Prince George's, he served as Superintendent of Schools in Anne Arundel County for seven years. He has made environmental literacy a priority in both school systems.
In 2009 when Governor O'Malley directed state agencies and partners to develop a state-wide plan for environmental literacy, Dr. Maxwell co-chaired a workgroup that looked at integration of environmental education kindergarten through grade 12. That workgroup ultimately recommended Maryland adopt a graduation requirement for environmental literacy. The regulation was approved by the state board of education in 2011, the first of its kind in the nation.
Dr. Maxwell personally solicited support for the graduation requirement from each of his 23 fellow superintendents across Maryland, ensuring all school system leaders were comfortable with the language that defined the graduation requirement. The unanimous support from school system superintendents is testament to the tremendous respect school leaders have for Maxwell.
Maxwell has been recognized statewide and nationally for his efforts. In 2014, he was named Maryland's Superintendent of the Year and was one of four finalists for the national honor.