Teacher of the Year


Mrs. Hoetzlein-Sirman is the 2020-2021 HHS Teacher of the Year!


We got to ask her various questions about the award, and about herself as a teacher. Hoetzlein-Sirman stressed that “It is the type of thing where you have to be right for the moment and the moment has to be right for you.” Well said. We want to outline all the background and hard work that led this amazing AP Government and Politics teacher to win the Teacher of the Year Award.

When we asked Mrs. Hoetzlein-Sirman how she felt about winning this prestigious award, she expressed how grateful she was to have received it, and how thankful she was to her colleagues. “I feel like there are so many great teachers in the building,” she said. “I honestly and truly feel like I could not do what I do without them, so I look at it like I am representing so many great teachers in our school.” Hoetzlein-Sirman shared.

Mrs. Hoetzlein-Sirman is well known for the way she treats her students. She has been known to distribute bags filled with treats, and even throws pizza parties for her students. During our time in the virtual world, there were some limitations to doing this as we are not in school. However, she powered through and delivered treat bags to her students’ homes!

This year, it has been a challenge to teach over Microsoft Teams ™, but this did not stop Mrs. Hoetzlein-Sirman. “It was hard to retain the collaborative atmosphere in my class, I feel that kids learn better that way.” As one of her students, I can say that she did not fail to incorporate community and collaboration in her virtual classroom.

When asked why she creates and distributes these bags and throws pizza parties she responded: “Well, I pulled some of my students best Elementary and Middle School experiences; I think it is important to show students that I am invested in them and the process of learning; to show that they are more than just a kid in my class, they are a member of my community and my family. I want to communicate my investment in them (students).”

When you receive an award, the way the award makes you feel is just as important as the honor itself. We asked Hoetzlein-Sirman about what the Teacher of the Year award made her feel. “It feels good to know that my peers recognize my hard work. I look at it as an opportunity to represent Huntingtown High School.”

One of the major thoughts when winning an award is what took you to where you are today, and who inspired you to become who you are. This AP Government and Politics teacher did not hesitate to tell us who inspires her the most and motivates her to get to where she is today. “Mr. Weber is phenomenal to work with, he is incredibly supportive, insightful and he has the best interest of students in mind. Mr. McComb is Supervisor of Social Studies with the County Board, and he is always so informed about teaching processes as well. And most of what I do I run by my husband and my own kids.”

When prompted, Mrs. Hoetzlein-Sirman shared she has always been interested in government. “I wanted to be the first Female President of the United States.” she said. “I was in middle school, and I was attending local political party rallies; and I went to my state representative and asked for local government volunteer opportunities, so through high school I went around knocking on doors for my state representative.” She also did 3 internships for the state representative! Based on her connections with the government, she was able to obtain tickets to the Presidential Inauguration for George Bush and could attend a youth inaugural ball! She even had the opportunity to meet now President Joe Biden while working at the bank!

Hoetzlein-Sirman was inspired to become a teacher through various conversations through her family. “I remember thinking, I would love to work with kids. So, I got my teaching degree, not with the intention of being a government teacher but working with middle schoolers. I envisioned high schoolers being too cool for some of the corny ideas I had at the time. I ended up staying home for 12 years, and at the end of the 12 years there was an opening here, and it was in government; and it all was perfect!”

When we concluded the interview, Hoetzlein- Sirman said “I feel like my story isn’t over, and I think I am going to do something else after this. No doubt about that!”

Congratulations to Mrs. Hoetzlein-Sirman. This Teacher of the Year award is well deserved!