100 Heighe Street · Bel Air, MD 21014 · 410-638-4600

The Bellarion

The Bellarion

The Bellarion

La Prof de l’Année: Bel Air’s Teacher of the Year Nominee

Ethan Dean
Madame A teaches a variety of engaging classes here at Bel Air High School.

 The annual HCPS Teacher of the Year competition officially has their 55 nominees, and our very own Ms. Jessica Antonakos will be representing Bel Air this year.  

Antonakos attended McDaniel College and has been teaching French for 15 years, 13 of which have been here at Bel Air. Fluent in both French and Spanish, Antonakos has an exceptional ability to allow students to absorb a new language while enjoying themselves at the same time.

Alongside Mr. Nathaniel Schoppert, the tandem has sent students through the French world, and have even sent them to it. A multitude of trips include a 2022 Quebec excursion with French students, allowing them to see the French world for themselves. This year, they are taking both French and German students on an 11-day trip to the Alps.

Senior Aubrey Klarman, a 3-year student of French, nominated Antonakos for the honor of Teacher of the Year. Klarman feels Antonakos is the pinnacle of teaching, being that she is “one of the most hardworking teachers in the entire school, creating such a love for something that is not mandatory.” 

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When asked about her teaching career and the honor of this nomination, Antonakos shares a story about when she got her nomination. “I originally disregarded the email that said 2023-24 Teacher of the Year because I didn’t think it pertained to me. It was something I never would’ve expected,” attesting to her humble and reserved nature when it comes to her hard work. 

Congratulations, Ms. Antonakos! (Aubrey Klarman)

Attending a World Language Conference in Sarasota, Florida this past summer, Antonakos has completely transformed her teaching style, and has noticed substantial results. Students are learning French at an incredible rate, with French 1 students utilizing words and conjugations not typically covered until French 2. With Bel Air Middle School featuring both French and Spanish 1 as an 8th Grade course, the potential for students has never been higher. 

Although Antonakos teaches a course that only a percentage of students will ever dip their toes into, the entire school can feel her energy and love for teaching. From all the Bobcats, we wish Ms. Antonakos, or Madame A as her students know her so well, the best of luck in this year’s Teacher of the Year bid. Bring home the gold!