It’s National Teacher Appreciation Week and kicked it off by honoring its own in the Spotlight on Teachers and Teacher of the Year ceremony held Monday night at .
The Spotlight Program is in its 10th year and recognizes outstanding teachers, social workers, guidance counselors and school psychologists for their outstanding work in the district. The Teacher of the Year ceremony followed the Spotlight Program, acknowledging the finalists and the 2011 Teacher of the Year Charles Langworth, a seventh grade math teacher at .
“I love teaching, and I love teaching in Stamford. I thrive on this diverse population,” Langworth said after accepting his award.
Langworth is a graduate of Port Chester (N.Y.) High School and said he finds many similarities between his alma mater and Stamford Public Schools. He first pursued a degree and career in business management, then later decided that corporate America was not his niche. He says he himself was never the model student growing up, but has taken what he’s learned to give back and help his students. Langworth wholeheartedly believes that every child can learn in his classroom.
“Everyday he models responsible behavior, enthusiastic energy, and a respectful attitude toward his students and colleagues,” Danielle Waring, 2010 Teacher of the Year, said. “As a member of Mr. Langworth’s class, each student has the respect of an old friend and fellow scholar.”
Finalists for the Teacher of the Year program included Susan Ramsey, an art teacher at , Barbara Remondino, a special education teacher at , and Dave Wooley, an English teacher at .
“Each finalist inspires us with their dedication and professionalism,” Betsy DeSantis, a member of the Teacher of the Year committee, said. “Each finalist exemplifies exceptional teaching.”
Finalists for the Teacher of the Year awards were nominated by their peers and completed essays and interviews with the Teacher of the Year Committee.
Superintendent Joshua Starr announced all 26 teachers across the district who were given a Spotlight award. Greeting each recipient was Board of Education President Polly Rauh, Board of Education members Julia Wade and Jackie Heftman, and Stamford Education Association President Lori Rossomando. Teachers were recognized for unique programs they began, going the extra mile or making an exceptional impact on their classroom.
“While we know we cannot possibly acknowledge every exceptional activity performed by our teachers, Spotlight is a representative way to cast a beam on those who give their best for the youngest among us,” Starr said before announcing the recipients.
The recipients of the 2011 Spotlight Program are:
Faith Kain, Title One Reading teacher,
Melissa Vallejo, Title One Math teacher, K.T. Murphy Elementary School
Desiree Ronaghan, kindergarten teacher,
Debbie Gerber, media specialist, Northeast Elementary School
Karen Breault, Grade 3 teacher,
Jennifer Argenio, K-7 social worker,
Jeffrey Gruetzner, physical education teacher, Springdale Elementary School
Mindy Rabinowitz, Title I Math Teacher,
Susan Carter, science teacher,
Mary Huminski, social worker,
Jennifer Jehle, grade 6 special education teacher,
Karen Kulish, science teacher, Scofield Magnet Middle School
Eileen Colleran, Grade 6 ELA teacher,
Alex Hanna, Grade 8 math teacher, Cloonan Middle School
Patricia Chacra, unified arts teacher,
Charlie Vandergrift, grade 12 English teacher, Westhill High School
Christine Bisceglie, guidance counselor,
Vin Urbanowski, math teacher, AITE
Bill Kurtz, phsycial education teacher, Westhill High School
DJ Mulvany, physical education teacher, Westhill High School
Theresa Magistro, special education teacher, Stamford High School
Susan Tamke, English ARTS program
Theresa Telesco, psychologist, Westhill High School
Marcia Mellett, ESL teacher at the Adult Learning Center
Mary Schaefer, curriculum associate, elementary literacy, Central Office
Heather Corrente, curriculum associate, secondary literature, Central Office