2020 Teacher of the Year:
Justin Lopez-Cardoze currently teaches 7th grade life science at Capital City Public Charter School. In the middle school, he serves as the science department chair, 7th grade level team lead, and middle school representative on the school’s Equity Core Committee. Outside of his work at Capital City, Lopez-Cardoze works as clinical faculty for Urban Teachers in collaboration with The Johns Hopkins University School of Education delivering coursework on secondary science curricula to Urban Teachers Fellows. Furthermore, he has worked as an instructional coordinator, teacher education facilitator, and corps member advisor for Teach For America’s (TFA) Philadelphia National Institute. Lopez-Cardoze started his career in education as a 2011 TFA Corps Member in Jacksonville, Florida. In his career thus far, Lopez-Cardoze has taught 7th grade life science, 8th grade physical science, 9th grade biology, 10th grade traditional chemistry and chemistry I honors, 11th grade chemistry II honors/Advanced Placement chemistry, and 12th grade genetics honors/AP biology. Across the disciplines he has taught, he has delivered lessons that are culturally relevant, inquiry-based, and equitable to meet the needs of all students. Lopez-Cardoze holds a master of science in biotechnology from The Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor of arts in chemistry with a biology and Hispanic studies double minor from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While attending UNC-Chapel Hill, he was awarded The Gilberta Aju Tahual Teaching Award from the Department of Chemistry. He currently serves as the 2020 DC Teacher of the Year, awarded in October 2019.