Kat Locke-Jones, 7th Grade ELA and Social Studies teacher at Hampstead Hill Academy, for being named the 2024 Baltimore City Public Schools Teacher of the Year!

Ms. Locke-Jones, who was a finalist for this prestigious award in 2023, was surprised on Wednesday, May 8th at school by Dr. Sonja Santelises, CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools. 

Kat’s Principal, Matt Hornbeck, is thrilled with this well-deserved recognition. “Kat is a teacher’s teacher – respected for every aspect of her work,” says Mr. Hornbeck, who has been HHA’s Principal since 2005. “In spite of class sizes over 35, Ms. Locke-Jones maintains an incredibly high standard for herself and her students. Teaching 7th graders how to write well is a gift that lasts a lifetime, and will lead to admission to better colleges and to better jobs. Beyond the test scores, which are sky-high and place her students in rare air as compared to any group of 7th graders in Maryland, Kat loves what she does and cares deeply about her students.”

Watch the video created by Baltimore City Public Schools of the exciting announcement and Dr. Santelises’ visit to Hampstead Hill to surprise Ms. Locke-Jones. 

Watch the WMAR-2 News clip of Ms. Locke-Jones’ recognition. 

Mr. Hornbeck lauds the “hook,” “arc,” and “closing persuasive argument” she gives every lesson and very nearly every conversation. “She is a student of human beings,” Mr. Hornbeck adds. “She gets to know her students and what makes them tick. And then she brings phenomenally well-planned lessons to the table. And she does it day after day and year after year. No one is better planned, no one manages a class better, and no one teaches a more important subject. And, she works with middle schoolers! Ms. Locke-Jones’ hard work has earned the high praise of being named Teacher of the Year.” 

This is a wonderful honor, and I’m so incredibly thankful! The best part of being an educator is being the mirror that reflects students’ lights back onto them. To share this with my Hampstead Hill community means the world to me because every person.

Kat Locke-Jones

2024 Baltimore City Schools Teacher of the Year

About Ms. Locke-Jones

Ms. Locke-Jones earned her B.A. in English from the University of Delaware and her M.S.Ed from Johns Hopkins University. She holds certificates in English Education (7-12) in Delaware and Maryland and as a Google-certified educator, Level II and will receive her TBTC certification this year. 

In addition to her classroom teaching expertise, Ms. Locke-Jones created several HHA initiatives, including the middle-school wide historical research paper and competition for National History Day, a schoolwide academic intervention program to raise standardized test scores for high-need students, and The Hive, HHA’s middle school writing center.

She is co-founder of SL24: UnLocke the Light foundation, a nonprofit created in memory of her brother Sean to shed light on the critical need for education about and support for young people with depression and mental illness. 

Her other awards include:

  • 2023 Governor’s Citation for Outstanding Services by Governor Wes Moore
  • 2023 Certificate of Recognition from Mayor Brandon Scott as a “Champion of Education”
  • 2023 Beacon of Light Finalist
  • 2023 Baltimore City Teacher of the Year Finalist
  • 2019 Kennedy Leadership Award Winner for Excellence in Teaching
  • 2018 Baltimore City Public Schools Model Teacher in English Language Arts


Congratulations, Ms. Locke-Jones!

Read Ms. Locke-Jones’ BCP blog post on the importance of children’s mental health

About the Baltimore Curriculum Project

Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) is the largest operator of local neighborhood, public charter schools in Maryland. We create safe, supportive learning environments for children PK-8 by providing innovative, research-based educational strategies, intensive teacher training and extensive support for administration and staff. We support our local neighborhood needs by tailoring our resources and support through community partnerships.

As one of the longest-running charter operators in Maryland, our schools are regularly recognized as some of the most highly acclaimed neighborhood charter schools in the state. 

Pimlico Elementary / Middle School

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