Johnathan Dunn, choral teacher at Sherwood High School, was named the 2022-2023 Montgomery County Teacher of the Year during a virtual celebration on April 28. Dunn will now go on to compete for Maryland Teacher of the Year. Per MCPS: Dunn has been the choral teacher at Sherwood for nine years. He brings positive energy, love and kindness to everyone he encounters. A joyful and enthusiastic educator, Dunn works tirelessly to see that students benefit from his lessons.
He teaches chorus, piano and music perspectives. Believing that music is a way to connect, he makes the music department a home for everyone. He takes great pride in making sure that all students have an opportunity to express themselves and experience the joy of music, regardless of their background, physical capabilities, learning differences, mental health challenges or musical proficiency. He encourages them all to perform in concerts and get involved in the Rock n‘ Roll Revival production, a 50-year tradition at Sherwood. With a cast of more than 300 students—from the highly skilled to first-time performers—Dunn unites them for a creative three-hour show. He also leads other school events, including vocal direction for the fall musical production and a Night of Jazz event in the spring.
He has coordinated teacher- and parent-led educational sightseeing and musical theater trips for chorus students to New York City. He has an open-door policy, and students regularly visit to talk with him about academic struggles or other concerns.
Outside school, Dunn contributes his time to community events, and is active as a leader in music ministry and worship. A graduate of Catholic University, Dunn is a composer, arranger and pianist whose career began as an aspiring concert pianist. He has served as artistic director for the Washington Youth Choir. A finalist in the National Symphony Young Soloists’ Competition in 1993, he performed the Grieg Piano Concerto at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Dunn is also a restorative justice coach at the school, and in the 2020–2021 school year, he took on an administrator position responsible for the ninth grade. He is in his final semester of graduate studies at Hood College, earning a master’s degree in educational leadership. In his 19 years with MCPS, he has been a choral educator at James Hubert Blake High School, Cabin John Middle School and Francis Scott Key Middle School.
Dunn was one of three finalists for Teacher of the Year, along with Irma Najarro, fourth grade bilingual teacher at Washington Grove Elementary School, and Michael Edwards, sixth grade world studies and global humanities teacher at Julius West Middle School.
As Teacher of the Year, he will receive $1,000 and a one-year car lease from Fitzgerald Auto Malls.