When she learned she was named the 2022 Teacher of the Year for Charles County Public Schools (CCPS), Morghan Hungerford couldn’t help but reflect on her own education. A product of CCPS — she went to Walter J. Mitchell Elementary, Piccowaxen Middle and Maurice J. McDonough High schools — Hungerford had a “full circle moment.”
“That’s what is so cool about having been named Teacher of the Year. It’s not only an example of the excellent teaching that is happening in Charles County, it’s an example of the excellent learning that’s happening in Charles County,” she said. “So much of what I do in my classroom comes from teachers who are still in the county, who I now run into at professional development. My teaching is not only a reflection of me — it’s a reflection of them.” The other finalists for the award were Ryan Amore, instructional resource teacher at J.C. Parks Elementary School; Barbara Anderson, kindergarten teacher at Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School; Annemarie Simpson, Ph.D., mathematics teacher at Maurice J. McDonough High School; and Brittany Thorne, fifth-grade teacher at Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Elementary School.
Hungerford is a second-grade teacher at Arthur Middleton Elementary School — and save for one year teaching third grade — she has spent her career teaching second grade. She received her Bachelor of Science in elementary education from Salisbury University and has two master of education degrees from the American College of Education — one in curriculum and instruction, and the other in educational leadership with an Administrator I certification.
She is a fourth-generation teacher. Her mother, both grandmothers and a great-grandmother were all teachers. Hungerford never seriously entertained any other career. “Maybe I wanted to be a doctor for five minutes when I was in fourth grade,” she joked. “But I have genuinely always wanted to be a teacher. It does run in my blood.”
A special place
While earning her bachelor’s, Hungerford was active in resident life. She worked as a Resident Assistant, better known as an RA. The experience prompted her to entertain the thought of teaching students in upper grades. After her student teaching experience spent in New Zealand teaching students in third, fourth and fifth grades, her mind was made up. “After student teaching, I couldn’t imagine not working with little kids,” Hungerford said. Following graduation the thought of going back to New Zealand to teach entered her mind. “But I came home and started applying for jobs,” she said. “How can I go anywhere else? This is home.”
Hungerford said Middleton is a special place. She’s been working since she was 13,and has had nice bosses and fun jobs, but being at Middleton is the first time she understood what people meant when they said coworkers were like a second family. “This school is like a family, the way we come together to support each other, and I think that radiates to the kids,” she said. “They see the interactions between staff members in a natural, organic way. They see ‘This is how adults get along. This is how I can get along too.”
Hungerford spoke so highly of Middleton, her former college roommate, Brianne White, ended up applying to work at the school despite not being from the area. White is still a Middleton fifth-grade teacher and she and Hungerford remain close friends.