Obama honors Md. woman as national teacher of the year

President Obama with the 2011 National Teacher of the Year Michelle Shearer

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is honoring Michelle Shearer of Maryland as the 2011 National Teacher of the Year.

Shearer teaches chemistry at Urbana High School in Frederick, Md. In a Rose Garden ceremony, Obama says Shearer represents all teachers who are committed to improving their own skills in order to better educate their students.

Winners of state teacher of the year awards also joined the president at Tuesday’s ceremony.

Obama reiterated his call for Congress to make the No Child Left Behind education law less punitive and more flexible, changes he says would help teachers be more successful in the classroom. He says America’s future success depends on the strength of its education system.