2014 Teacher of the Year Application Packet
Superintendent's Memo [PDF], Instructions [PDF], 2014 Application Form [PDF]
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Joanne R. White
Connecticut Teacher of the Year Program
Connecticut State Department of Education
P.O. Box 2219
Hartford, CT 06145
2014 Teacher of the Year Simifinalists [PDF]
The Connecticut Teacher of the Year Program began in 1952. It is sponsored by the Connecticut State Department of Education, Division of Teaching and Learning Programs and services, and ING. The program begins with the selection of a teacher of the year in each local district and continues to the national level, where the Connecticut Teacher of the Year becomes eligible for national honors.
The National Teacher of the Year Program is sponsored by the ING Foundation and Target. Now in its 60th year, the national program is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers in partnership with The University of Phoenix and People to People Ambassador Programs. Three Connecticut teachers have been National Teachers of the Year: Anthony J. Mullen, a high school science teacher from Greenwich, in 2009; LeRoy Hay, an English teacher from Manchester, in 1983; and Dorothy Hamilton, a social studies teacher from Milford, in 1953. Five Connecticut teachers have been national finalists: Marian Galbraith in 2002 (Groton), Fie K. Budzinsky in 1996 (Portland), Shirley J. Gillis in 1981 (New London), Harold Frazier in 1964 (West Hartford) and Helen Estes in 1963 (Manchester).
The Teacher of the Year Program recognizes and honors teacher excellence. It does not attempt to select the "best" teacher; rather, to identify, from among many outstanding teachers of the year, one teacher to serve as a visible and vocal representative of what is best in the profession. The program celebrates excellence in teaching by recognizing teachers who have inspired a love for learning in their students and who have distinguished themselves in the profession.
Districts participating in the Teacher of the Year Program have found the program to have a positive impact on the entire community. Recognizing outstanding teachers: a) establishes a culture that rewards excellence in teaching; b) validates the work of teachers; c) provides teachers with a platform to speak about educational issues; d) gives students a sense of pride in their teachers; e) showcases teachers as positive role models; f) encourages students to think about teaching as a career; g) gives the community a sense of pride in its teachers; and h) helps to get the public involved and invested in the schools.
Time Line for CT Teacher of the Year Program - [PDF]
Names of exemplary teachers are forwarded to superintendents from each school in the local districts. Superintendents or local selection committees then select district teachers of the year, and forward teachers' names and application packets to the State Department of Education for consideration in the Connecticut Teacher of the Year recognition program. The teachers’ application packets (including information on their educational background and professional participation, essays on their philosophy of education and teaching, and letters of support) are reviewed by at least five members of a statewide selection committee representing the state's major educational organizations, former state teachers of the year, and business and lay communities. The selection committee invites 12-15 local nominees to make a formal presentation on a pre-assigned topic, and to respond to additional unannounced questions. Finally, 4 finalists are then visited at their schools, where selection committee members observe the teachers’ classes, and interview colleagues, administrators, and students, as well as support staff, parents, and local board of education members. At the conclusion of the site visits, the selection committee meets and chooses its Connecticut Teacher of the Year.
All local school district nominees, semifinalists, finalists, and the Connecticut Teacher of the Year are recognized individually at an awards ceremony each year. More than 1000 guests are usually present at the event. The State Teacher of the Year and other State Teachers of the Year are also recognized by the President at a White House reception, and are invited to a national conference in Dallas, Texas. They also attend the Space Camp at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Alabama, and the Education Commission of the States National Forum on Education Policy in Atlanta.
Duties of the Connecticut Teacher of the Year
The Connecticut Teacher of the Year and the three finalists serve as teacher-ambassadors for public education. They are appointed to various education advisory committees and become consultants to the Commissioner of Education. They present workshops; speak at education conferences and meetings; address student, civic, college and university, and governmental groups; and operate special programs in accordance with their interests and expertise. The Connecticut Teacher of the Year also represents the state at the national level--participating in national educational forums, National State Teacher of the Year Program planning and networking sessions, and U.S. Department of Education meetings.
| Connecticut Teacher of the Year Honor Roll |
||Woodside Intermediate School, Cromwell|
||Berlin High School, Berlin|
|Kristin Ann Record
||Bunnell High School, Stratford|
|Kristi M. Luetjen
||Whiting Lane School, West Hartford|
|Anthony J. Mullen**
||CREC, West Hartford|
||Region 9, Easton, Redding|
|Mary Kay Rendock
|William P. Davenport
|Wendy Nelson Kauffman
||Groton (National Finalist)|
|Elizabeth Ann Collinge
|Fie K. Budzinsky*
||Region 15, Middlebury, Southbury|
|Carol R. Virostek
|Bert J. Neumaier
|Deborah Gladding Willard
|Thomas J. Sullivan
||Region 4, Chester, Deep River, Essex|
|Roger A. Morrissette
|Shirley J. Gillis*
|Henry F. Jemioto
|Sheila Mary Schmidt
|| West Hartford|
|| Manchester |
* Indicates National Teacher of the Year Finalist
** Indicates National Teacher of the Year
Connecticut Department of Education Resources
Joanne R. White
English Language Arts Consultant
Connecticut Teacher of the Year Program
Phone: (860) 713-6751
Facsimile: (860) 713-7018