From Washington Post by Emma Brown:
D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson and Mayor Vincent Gray showed up unannounced at Hope Harrod’s classroom this afternoon, surprising her with news that she is the 2012 DCPS teacher of the year.

That happy ambush left Harrod a little teary as she stood before her students at John Burroughs Education Campus in Brookland.

Accompanying the mayor and chancellor into the classroom were Principal Mary Weston and a considerable entourage of folks snapping cellphone pictures.

Many of them were looking a little emotional, too. Harrod’s students were delighted, if a little gobsmacked, by the moment. “I want to cry, too,” one girl said.

The award means a $10,000 check and an extra-bright spotlight at the school system’s Standing Ovation event, a celebration of teachers scheduled for later this month at the Kennedy Center.

This year’s principal of the year award winner is David Pinder, head of McKinley Technology High in Northeast, an application-only school that’s made huge gains on standardized tests in recent years. The U.S. Department of Education named McKinley Tech a National Blue Ribbon School this fall.

The recognition represents a redemption of sorts for Pinder. He was put on leave in 2011 after he was accused of doctoring 13 students’ transcripts to give them credit for courses they never took, ostensibly to inflate graduation rates. There were also questions about the mishandling of a $100,000 grant from AARP to the school.

Pinder was reinstated after an investigator admitted lying to an interview subject, compromising the probe.

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