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The Dr. Edward Shirley Award for Excellence in Educational Administration and Supervision is given annually by the Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals (MCAAP), to recognize an outstanding administrator or supervisor of Montgomery County Public Schools. Eligible candidates include principals, assistant principals, school business administrators, directors, supervisors and other administrator and supervisory positions within the MCAAP/MCBOA unit. The award is presented by the Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals (MCAAP), with the support of the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS).



Dr. Edward Shirley Award

for Excellence in Educational Administration and Supervision

Ed Shirley
Beth F Thomas.png

Beth Thomas, Assistant Principal of Hallie Wells Middle School is the 2023 Awardee for the

Dr. Edward Shirley Award for Excellence in Educational Administration and Supervision

Beth Thomas will be recognized at the Champions for Children event on Monday, April 24, 2023. This event will be held at the Blackrock Center for the Arts.

Ms. Thomas will also be recognized at the MCAAP Spring Meeting on May 17, 2023 which will be held at Top Golf in Germantown. She will also be recognized at the 2023 MCAAP Summer Leadership Conference in June 2023.

Past Award Winners:


James Allrich

Argyle MS


Rachel DuBois

Bayard Rustin ES


Scott Murphy

Curriculum and Instruction



Celeste King

Southlake ES



Myriam Yarbrough, EdD.

Paint Branch HS


Audra Fladung

School Support and Improvement


E. Frank Kaplan

Strawberry Knoll ES


Betty Collins

Instructional Leadership Support


Christine Handy

Gaithersburg HS


Eugenia S. Dawson
Earle B. Wood MS


Robert Domergue

Damascus HS


Michael Bayewitz

Broad Acres ES


Jeffrey M. Martinez
Organizational Development


Sandra B. Sengstack
Human Resources

2008 - 09

Debra Mugge Ed.D

Argyle MS


Carole C. Goodman

James Hubert Blake HS


Robert Batress, Ph.D

Organizational Development


Daniel J. Shea

Quince Orchard HS


Phillip Gainous

Montgomery Blair HS

The 2023 Dr. Edward Shirley Award for Excellence in Educational Administration and Supervision


The Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals (MCAAP) is pleased to announce that Ms. Beth F. Thomas, Assistant Principal, Hallie Wells Middle School, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is the 2023 recipient of the Dr. Edward Shirley Award for Excellence in Educational Administration and Supervision.

This prestigious award, given by MCAAP, is presented annually to an administrator or supervisor who exemplifies outstanding leadership and accomplishments in the areas of purposeful leadership, instructional or system wide leadership, human resources development, resource management, interpersonal skills, professional involvement, and community and stakeholder involvement.

In addition to her eight years of service in New York, Ms. Thomas has spent most of her educational career in MCPS. Over the last 28 years she has served as a special education teacher, special education resource teacher, alternative I teacher, and administrator. In 2006, Ms. Thomas became an administrator at James H. Blake High School. In 2016, she was appointed assistant principal to the newly opened Hallie Wells Middle School and has served there since.

Ms. Thomas is known for her passion for all students. She exhibits high energy and commitment to ensure that each student receives instructional and social emotional support that elevates their strengths. She tirelessly works with students, families, staff, and administrator colleagues to keep students in the forefront of her decision-making.

Ms. Thomas is known for enhancing the learning for all students, especially those with unique learning needs.  She creates a network of support within the school and with school partners to help students reach their full potential. Parents, administrators, students, and staff all note the strong commitment Ms. Thomas displays through her “students first” approach when maximizing student learning and achievement. Moreover, once a student is with Ms. Thomas, she will follow that student’s educational career beyond the level in which she supported him/her.

Ms. Thomas exhibits high expectations where “all students and staff can learn, grow, and improve.” She engages in courageous conversations with all stakeholders to remove barriers for students and is known to provide love and care where students can see their own potential. This also applies to the staff as she is seen as a “go-to person for others seeking professional growth.” Because Ms. Thomas “regularly sees talent” in others, she has advised and mentored staff to pursue career advancements within MCPS. Due to her calm demeanor, Ms. Thomas’ colleagues often seek her wisdom and guidance to problem solve.

When it comes to the best interest of a student, no problem is too small to receive Ms. Thomas’ attention. Ms. Thomas has the uncanny ability to bring “empathy, active listening, and emotional intelligence” when she engages students, staff, and parents. She brings calm to any situation with care. Ms. Thomas knows all of her students by name and is able to positively impact any meetings concerning her students due to her in-depth knowledge of each one.

Ms. Thomas’ professional involvement within MCPS is broad and enables her to be an integral part of her school communities, past and present. During community events, Ms. Thomas is often seen talking with community partners, parents, and students to network and “bring fun” to any event. As a result of her positive leadership, Ms. Thomas has built a network of professionals, families and partners to serve the best interest of students. Moreso, her colleagues see her as a lifelong friend.

As a result of her strong belief that all students can achieve, students who receive special education services at Hallie Wells meet and exceed academic expectations and standards. Ms. Thomas motivates students and staff to see beyond a student’s potential when supporting their needs. She also galvanizes resources that help students succeed academically. Her relentless dedication to student success is the drive that feeds into the many hours she spends organizing testing, school events, and professional learning opportunities for staff. Parents, staff, and students appreciate the instructional leadership she exhibits to remove barriers for all students to reach success.

The Dr. Edward Shirley Award for Excellence in Educational Administration and Supervision recognizes and honors Beth F. Thomas for her outstanding accomplishments and looks forward to her continued contributions to excellence in educational administration.  As this year’s award recipient, Ms. Thomas will be honored at the Champions for Children event on Monday, April 24, 2023. She will also be recognized at MCAAP’s Spring Membership meeting on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, and at the Summer Leadership Conference on Thursday, June 22, 2023. Her name will be inscribed on the perpetual Shirley Award commemorative plaque prominently displayed at the MCAAP office. 


Deans of Educational Administration Award

The Deans of Educational Administration is a recognition announced annually by the Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals (MCAAP) to honor leaders who have dedicated 30 or more years to administration in an educational setting. First begun in 2000, the Deans of Educational Administration who have been recognized are listed below. 

Leroy Evans, 2020

Jeffrey Martinez, 2019

Marla Caplon, 2018

Betty Collins, 2017

Donna Hollingshead, 2017

Ikhide (Roland) Ikheloa, 2017

Kathleen Lazor, 2017

Margaret Pastor, 2017

Daniel Shea, 2017

Jack Smith, 2017

Zvi Greismann, 2016

Judith Lewis, 2016

Michael Doran, 2015

Carlos Hamlin, 2015

Patricia Kelly, 2015

Kwang ‘Sunny’ Lee, 2015

Lamar Whitmore, 2015

Larry Bowers, 2014

Linda Goldberg, 2014

Bobbi Jasper, 2014

Lynn Brown, 2012

Pearl Drain, 2012

Eileen Macfarlane, 2012

Edye Miller, 2012

Wayne Whigham, 2012

Patricia Janus, 2011

Ralph Viggiano, 2011

Jane Butler, 2010

Barbara Leister, 2010

Dick Lipsky, 2010

Cabell Lloyd, 2010

Jevoner Adams, 2009

Joan Benz, 2009

Michael Cohen, 2006

James Fernandez, 2006

Andrew Coleman, 2005

Samuel Daniel, 2005

Donald Kress, 2005

Michael Durso, 2004

David Litsey, 2004

Donald Hennessey, 2002

Charles Murkey, 2002

Rebecca Newman, 2002

Paul Scott, 2002

Jerry Weast, 2002

Joan Cisz, 2001

Betty Howard, 2001

William Monie, 2001

Barron Stroud, 2001

Pat Abrunzo, 2000

Robert Bastress, 2000

Yi Chen, 2000

George Cokinos, 2000

Lee Coldren, 2000

Barbara Contrera, 2000

William Curran, 2000

Thomas Eakin, 2000

Phillip Gainous, 2000

Donald Graham, 2000

Wilma Holmes, 2000

Brenda Lee, 2000

Jerome Marco, 2000

Alfred Rico, 2000

Richard Towers, 2000

Walter Tozier, 2000

William Wilhoyte, 2000

Edye Miller Distinguished Service Award

Miller Award

Monique Riddick, 2022


Genevieve Floyd, 2021




Charles (Buzz) Lee, Jr., 2020





Brandi Heckert, 2019

Joe Mamana, 2018

Nominations for the 2023 Edye Miller Distinguished Service Award will open on Monday, April 17, 2023 and close on Thursday, May 18, 2023.

The Edye Miller Distinguished Service Award is designed to recognize and express appreciation to MCAAP/MCBOA members who have effectively provided distinguished service to MCAAP over time and made exemplary contributions to the association. It is also designed to inspire other members to actively support MCAAP and the professional growth of all members. 


This award was established by the MCAAP Board of Directors and funded by MCAAP’s former executive director, Edye Miller, upon her retirement in 2017. The recipient receives a cash award of $2,000 presented in June. In addition, the deserving member’s name will be engraved in a special commendation plaque displayed in the MCAAP office.


A nominee for this award shall have made an impact on the association through

  • sustained and effective service (s) to the association,

  • support through distinguished voluntary service over time,

  • commitment to the professional growth of members and/or to the profession of educational leadership on behalf of the association,

  • exemplary contributions to the mission of the association, and

  • actions which inspire others to actively support the association.


Montgomery County Public School administrators and supervisors may be nominated and considered for this award if they meet the following requirements:

· Current voting member of MCAAP/MCBOA, and

· Five years of continuous and recent voting membership in MCAAP/MCBOA, and

· Not a previous recipient of the award


Full-time MCAAP/MCBOA members and staff working for the association are not

eligible for consideration of this award. Current members working full time for MCAAP are

eligible for consideration three years after the expiration of their term of office.

Any current, former, or retired MCAAP/MCBOA member may nominate a person for this award. Those full-time MCAAP/MCBOA members and staff working for the association may not nominate or write supporting letters for nominees.

The information and application is below.

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