Excellence In Education awards: Living Our Guiding Principles award winners for December and January

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Article Author: Martha Maloney
Publication Name: Collaborative for Educational Services
Article Date: March 23, 2023
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The Collaborative for Educational Services is pleased to announce the December and January winners of our regional Excellence in Education: Living our Guiding Principles Award!  We honor those educators across the DYS workforce who embody one or more of the Guiding Principles including: College, Career, and Civic Readiness; Culture and Purpose; and Social Justice and Equity, central to the organization’s mission to improve the academic and life outcomes for the youth they serve.

December 2022

Jill Morse is the recipient of the Excellence in Education: Living our Guiding Principles Award for the Central Region for December

Jill, Central Substitute Teacher,  received multiple nominations which highlighted her contributions and excellence in culture and purpose!  Some of the things Jill’s colleagues had to say about her include:

“Jill has demonstrated over the years her amazing ability to connect with students when she first meets them. She is extremely knowledgeable in all content areas including EYF and can jump in to teach any subject matter with confidence. If a teacher is out unexpectedly, Jill is willing to create meaningful lessons for the students on the spot and acclimates to any given situation. It is amazing to see how students immediately respect her and are willing to do work for her. I attribute this to her joy, compassion and creativity! She truly LISTENS to what the students are saying to her and gets to know them. She has a gift of making students feel “heard”.”

“Jill has gone above and beyond while covering Health and PE through the region this fall. Students are engaged in her personalized lessons and she brings a level of calmness and professionalism to every class. Students are always eager to spend time learning in her classes.”

“Jill has been dedicated to providing our students with engaging and up-to-date information while she has covered the health classes. She creates a classroom environment that is safe for the students to participate in class discussions and share their thoughts and opinions.”

Congrats Jill and thank you for embracing our guiding principals day in and out.

Congratulations to Northeast’s December Excellence in Education winner John Strouse

John was nominated by his colleagues for his skills in College, Career, and Civic Readiness.  Some comments shared were:

“John instills in students a sense of purpose that translates into a positive goal setting mindset.”

“John takes time with all the students he services to guide them in a positive direction.”

“John Strouse has been by far the kindest, helpful & caring individual that I have met at CES. John  was the interim AREC when I first started at CES & when he transitioned back to his previous role as an assessment coordinator; he still provided me with help whenever he could. John is swift with the replies & always lending a helping hand even though it wasn’t his obligation or duty.. John – you are so appreciated!”

Congratulations John!!!!

Congratulations to Jason Scully as the Metro  Excellence in Education winner for December 

Suffolk Detention’s Teacher Coordinator, Jason has spent several years working for CES/DYS in the Metro Region.  Jason began working as a teacher on Spectrum Girls and MPTU.  He quickly became the Teacher Coordinator for Suffolk, where he has been since 2017.  In addition to nominations by his colleagues, this month several of Jason’s students felt he deserved to be recognized. Jason’s nomination highlighted his contributions and excellence in College, Career, & Civic Readiness. 

Please see below for what some of Jason’s students and colleagues had to say about him:

“He always goes above and beyond and helps me”

“He’s a good teacher”

“Jason just finished teaching a unit on Fake News where he helped students learn about the different ways that media try and grab our attention, make money from our emotions and spread misinformation. In the end, students were very engaged writing their own fake new articles. Students were very interested and this is a topic that is so important in the age of digital misinformation.”

“He helps me”  

Congratulations, Jason, for living our Guiding Principle of College, Career, & Civic Readiness.

Robert Lawler is the West winner for the December 2022 Excellence in Education Award 

Robert, TC at Westfield Revocation. Robert was nominated by his peers for his outstanding work around both Culture and Purpose as well as College, Career and Civic Readiness.

One colleague wrote that “Rob is always willing to help out and support his fellow teachers no matter what we need help with”. Another teacher said of Rob “He is always going out of his way to give his students authentic learning experiences and get their hands dirty with learning”. 

Congratulations to Robert on his hard work and dedication towards our teachers and students! 

Congratulations to Nicholas Maddron as the December 2022 Southeast recipient of the Living Our Guiding Principles Award

Nicholas is new to the teaching profession and has jumped right in.  He has  volunteered to be the pilot site for the new DYS Rethinking History Civics pilot, working hand-in-hand with the Southeast Instructional Coach to use various modules of the curriculum.  He has also provided students many hands-on learning opportunities through the consistent use of BreakFree Education’s monthly initiatives.  

Nicholas was nominated by his Teaching Coordinator Nathan Henner in the Principles of College and Career Readiness as well as the Culture and Purpose.  Nathan had the following to say about Nicholas: 

“Nicholas has been brainstorming new and creative ways to increase student engagement in his classes at Teamworks. As a new teacher, Nicholas has taken on the responsibility of teaching a new civics curriculum here at Teamworks. In addition to this, Nicholas has been working diligently to get the students engaged in the Breakfree projects. The latest project, Unconstruct, has students working on designing more pedestrian-friendly walkways. Nicholas used his own time to shop for supplies for the projects and now has students constructing 3D models in addition to the assignments included in the project. This is a great way to engage our more kinesthetic learners and the projects look great (see photos).  Nicholas’ passion for teaching is evident in his approach to each of his classes here at Teamwork”.  

Congratulations Nicholas! 

January 2023

Stacy Broadbent, Butler Center Teacher, is the recipient of the Excellence in Education: Living our Guiding Principles Award for the Central Region for the month of January.  

Stacy’s multiple nominations highlighted her contributions and excellence in culture and purpose and college, career and civic readiness! Please see some things Stacy’s colleagues had to say about her:

“Stacy is an outstanding teacher!  She demonstrates such passion for teaching.  She is a very caring, warm, enthusiastic, and approachable teacher.  Stacy strives to make the students feel good about themselves and develops positive relationships with them by creating a classroom environment that is centered around mutual respect and trust.  She takes the time to get to know her students (and knows them well)!  As a result they inherently feel that their voices are both heard and valued.  This is evident in the effort she has made working with the students on the BreakFree Challenges.  Not only have her students excelled at these challenges, they have won (and won multiple times)!  Stacy exemplifies what it takes to be an outstanding teacher and she definitely deserves this recognition.”

“Stacy has been a huge support to student CT during his time at Butler and his transition onwards. She has acted with kindness and compassion towards all students. She engages them in well structured learning activities that activate their personal experiences and tie them to the world at large. She has worked on a number of Breakfree initiatives (and) become a Breakfree fellow….”

“When Stacy creates her lesson plans for the week she takes into consideration all of her students’ needs and creates multiple ways for student engagement. Stacy truly goes above and beyond expectations  when putting together her units.  Her students are active learners and there is a great sense of accomplishment that is apparent when watching her students. The Breakfree Initiatives are a welcomed component of her classes with encouragement from Stacy. Her students have been extremely successful with this initiative under her guidance.  It is a pleasure witnessing Stacy’s enthusiasm for teaching!”

Congratulations, Stacy!

The Northeast’s Excellence in Education – Living Our Guiding Principles  January award winner is Jake Garrels 

Jake is a Teacher at STRIVE  and was nominated by his colleagues, who praised Jake for his excellence in the Guiding Principle of Culture and Purpose: 

“Jake has been with the collaborative for almost two decades and his dedication to his students is inspiring.  Jake demonstrates his care for students in his daily civics lessons, which highlight significant issues of the day.   He has a massive collegiate vocabulary which he imparts to his students in ELA and Reading.   He is passionate about improving the literacy skills of his students at STRIVE.  He is always ready to assist teachers at other programs whenever there is a need for support.  He has done this time and again, whenever he has been asked for support, and he is always happy and ready to help other teachers. Finally, he is an integral part of our education team, helping to prepare our students to take the most significant step of their future lives: passing their High School equivalency tests.”

A student wrote:  ” He comes to school everyday with a smile.  He helped push me to do my best to prepare for HiSet.  He is the reason I passed the writing HiSet.  Jake told me that nobody knows everything: Students learn from their teachers as teachers learn from their students.”

Please join me in congratulating Jake for living our Guiding Principles!

Julia Kennedy is the Metro Excellence in Education winner for January 2023.

You will find Julia in three of our region’s schools – CSD, DSD, and MTU.  As a special education teacher, Julia can be found teaching alongside general education teachers in ELA and Math. When not in the classroom, Julia is busy in IEP meetings, writing progress reports, working with individual students, or preparing for an upcoming IEP Reconvene – to name a few.  Most recently, Julia has jumped at the opportunity to pilot co teaching in the region, and her excitement to take on this task is inspiring. Julia’s passion to engage and teach our students is evident the moment you walk in her classroom. Metro is lucky to have her as a member of our teaching team.  Julia’s nomination highlighted her contributions and excellence in Culture & Purpose.

Please see below for what some of Julia’s colleagues had to say about her:

“Julia is a team player and she finds ways to reach the students to get them to complete their work in class.”

“Julia is an amazing member of our education team.  She is always willing to step in and teach classes when needed. But not only that, Julia has a passion for teaching and can be seen pushing students to try their best.  Her classrooms have happiness, compassion, and a belief that all can achieve.”

“Besides being an excellent teacher, she always looks out for the students’ well being.”

Congratulations, Julia, for living our Guiding Principle of Culture & Purpose

Elizabeth Razcka is the January Excellence in Education award winner for the West  

I am excited to announce the January 2023 Excellence in Education award winner. Our winner is Elizabeth Razcka, West SDL. Liz was nominated by several of her peers for her unheralded work around student support and IEPS. 

As one person wrote that Liz “collects, organizes, and disseminates considerable amounts of students’ paperwork and casework so seamlessly that teachers often don’t realize how much effort goes into it”. 

Another teacher wrote that  “Liz is always happy to assist educators in a timely, thorough manner, and is always a pleasure to work and interact with”.

Congratulations to Liz for this award!

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