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Dennis D. Jutras
Dennis D. Jutras
Dennis D. Jutras
Baltimore City

Baltimore Polytechnic Institute
Baltimore City/Dennis Jutras – History Teacher at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute

Dennis has served on Baltimore Polytechnic Institute’s SIT team for the past six years, spending two of those years as Chairperson. He spent four years as the Student Government Advisor and established a successful AP US History program. He has also created a political science course that uses debate to discuss controversial contemporary issues, introduced students to oral histories by recording the stories of school alums who served in World War II, introduced students to National History Day and taught American Government to students who ultimately placed no lower than 2nd in the state during each of the last three years on the HSA. Dennis is also a career changer – moving into teaching from an executive corporate position.

Polytechnic educator earns accolades in new profession
City Teacher of the Year recipient to compete for state title this fall.
By Laura Loh _ Sun Staff
May 19, 2005

Dennis Jutras
Polytechnic Institute history teacher Dennis Jutras jokes with Baltimore schools chief Bonnie S. Copeland as he receives his award for Baltimore's Teacher of the Year.
(Sun photo by Jed Kirschbaum)            May 18, 2005

Dennis Jutras has been a standout before. Years ago, when he worked in the fashion accessories industry, he climbed from a job as warehouse worker to an executive overseeing 2,000 people, earning 11 promotions in four years.

Now, the Polytechnic Institute history teacher can say he has done just as well in his new profession.

Yesterday, Jutras was named Baltimore's Teacher of the Year. He will compete against representatives from Maryland's 23 other school systems for the statewide award this fall. The Maryland Teacher of the Year, in turn, will compete for the national award.

Jutras, 40, was nominated for the city honor with just five years of teaching under his belt - the minimum number of years required to be nominated. Nearing the end of his sixth year at Poly, he reflected yesterday on his surprise to learn he had been chosen.

"I'm not even from the state. I'm not a native. I thought, statistically, I was a long shot," said Jutras, who grew up outside Providence, R.I.

But ask school officials whether Jutras was a long shot, and they'll likely answer with an emphatic "no."

Jutras has accomplished much in his time at Poly, in particular helping to establish history as a more prominent field of study at the elite high school traditionally focused on math and science.

He created a history library, helped develop two courses and is the faculty adviser to the student government association, school newspaper and other groups.

Last year, 99.6 percent of his department's students passed the High School Assessment for government, the highest success rate in Maryland. He's also popular with students for the little things he does, like handing out lollipops during stressful tests.

"We know that you're going to be the Maryland Teacher of the Year and the United States Teacher of the Year," city schools chief Bonnie S. Copeland said to Jutras, after she and other officials stopped by his classroom to congratulate him yesterday.

"Yeah, no pressure at all. You see this bald spot?" Jutras replied, pointing to the back of his head and drawing laughter.

Growing more serious - and a little emotional - the teacher thanked the students and officials gathered in the room.

"I'm happy not because I'm being honored but because I get to showcase the students I work with every day," he said. "They keep me fresh. They keep me honest. And I hope in some small way, I've been able to empower them the way they've empowered me."

Copyright © 2005, The Baltimore Sun

Contact Information
Darla Strouse, Executive Director
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone:  410-767-0369
Fax:  410-333-3867
Email:  dstrouse@msde.state.md.us
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
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