MONROE, CT — Marianne Bortzfield, a kindergarten teacher at Fawn Hollow Elementary School, was honored as the 2023-24 Monroe Public Schools Teacher of the Year. Superintendent of Schools Joseph Kobza made the announcement at the district’s end-of-year celebration at Tashua Knolls Thursday.
“Marianne is so deserving of this honor,” Kobza said. “She is everything we treasure in the teaching profession. I know she will represent the Monroe Public Schools well in the Connecticut Teacher of the Year program.”
Bortzfield started her teaching career at Fawn Hollow in 2007, teaching first and second grade before moving to kindergarten in 2010. She lives in Monroe with her husband, Jay, and two children, Emma and JD, who attend Jockey Hollow Middle School.
The Teacher of the Year committee, consisting of previous teachers of the year as well as building principals, received 159 nominations for 100 different teachers this year. Nominations came from teachers, administrators, paraeducators, secretaries, parents, and students.
The theme from repeated nominations referenced Bortzfield as incredibly responsive to the needs of her students, families and colleagues. She was praised by parents for always making herself available for any questions and responding immediately to any concerns.
Julianna Sherwood said, “Marianne Bortzfield is an exceptional teacher and human being. Her classes are always respectful and eager to learn. I thought the first time she must have had an amazing kindergarten class, but it’s just her. She makes learning fun and teaches them all to read and learn to their strengths.”
Second grade teacher Jill Silvestro said, “Marianne not only makes time for her students, she especially makes time to collaborate with her colleagues. Whether it be before or after school or texting after her family goes to sleep at night. She is always there to support us.”
Assistant Superintendent Sheila Casinelli, who also served as principal of Fawn Hollow, referred to Bortzfield as her “go to” for the kindergarten team. “I could always count on Marianne for being calm, willing to learn/try new things, and welcoming to new staff and students alike,” Casinelli said.
Current principal Leigh Ances said, “I always leave Marianne’s classroom feeling inspired. There’s just something special about the way she is able to connect with every learner every year. Her warm smile, gentle demeanor, keen insights and profound knowledge of all things kindergarten come together to create a classroom environment that thrives on kindness, compassion, and community. Her room hums along beautifully, and she makes the art of teaching look effortless.”
All respectful comments with the commenter’s first and last name are welcome.