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Obama Honors National Teacher Of The Year From Md.

WASHINGTON (WJZ) -- Top honors at the White House for a Maryland educator.  Michelle Shearer is the 2011 National Teacher of the Year.

Denise Koch was there as the Frederick County chemistry teacher was praised by President Barack Obama.

Shearer is the second Maryland teacher to be chosen National Teacher of the Year in the past five years.  It's another validation for the Maryland public school system, widely considered the very best in the nation.

"What a beautiful day to celebrate teachers and teaching," said President Obama.

The sun was shining on the Rose Garden Tuesday morning, filled with Maryland lawmakers, educators and families.  The president was there to recognize Shearer, a Princeton grad, award-winning AP Chemistry teacher and fluent in sign language.

"At the Maryland School for the Deaf, Michelle taught AP Chemistry for the first time in the school's 135-year history, explaining concepts...using only her hands," said Obama.

Her accomplishments won her the title "Teacher of the Year," an example Obama believes must resonate in schools across the country.

"America will only be as strong in this century as the education that we provide our students," said Obama.  "We need more Michelles out there.

"I can think of no other profession that can say we make all other professions possible," said State School Superintendent Nancy Grasmick.

Shearer will finish out this school year with her students at Urbana High School.  Next year, she will spend on the road, traveling the country and promoting excellence in the profession she loves: teaching.

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