MONROE, CT — Superintendent of Schools Joseph Kobza introduced Stepney Elementary School second grade teacher, Lisa Martinsky, as Monroe’s new Teacher of the Year during Monroe Public Schools end of year district celebration Wednesday night.
The annual event is evening to recognize teachers for their years of service, retirees, and the Teacher of the Year.
The following is Kobza’s introduction of Martinsky:
Every year, I enjoy reading each nomination that is submitted during the Teacher of the Year process. This year was no different as we received 168 nominations for 76 different teachers in the district. Nominations came in from teachers, administrators, paraeducators, secretaries, parents, and students.
I’d like to thank the Teacher of the Year Committee, many of whom are here with us tonight to congratulate this year’s recipient. As you may know, the Teacher of the Year Committee consists of all of our past Teachers of the Year as well as our building principals. I also want to thank Jack Ceccolini who coordinated our Teacher of the Year selection process, compiling this outstanding group of educators and facilitating the discussion that goes into choosing our Teacher of the Year.
So, out of a group of 76 outstanding educators, the Teacher of the Year committee was charged with the difficult task of selecting one finalist. To cull it down to one teacher truly speaks to this person’s dedication to their craft. And that came out loud and clear from the nominations for this teacher.
A theme developed as repeated nominations for this teacher referenced “going above and beyond”…. In helping students succeed academically, socially, and emotionally.
Repeated adjectives included “caring, passionate, dedicated, and creative.”
The committee was impressed with the relationships that extended years after their children had left this teacher’s class as well as the relationships that seemed to extend to other children in the family (and not necessarily in this teacher’s class)
- One parent whose daughter had this teacher two years ago, marveled that this teacher still makes it a point to check on her daughter throughout the week just to see how she’s doing.
- Another family who had moved to town said this teacher made the transition as easy as it could be for her daughters, not only the one that is in the class, but her older daughter as well.
When teaching was flipped upside down during the pandemic, this teacher was described as “embracing chaos and change like a champ.” Knowing the lengths that this teacher went to make sure their students felt supported, I agree wholeheartedly. In fact, one parent said that this teacher has a “super power when it comes to connecting with students and building strong, unforgettable relationships- a classroom closeness and community between the students.”
Former parents wrote of visits to the house and care packages personally delivered during hybrid and remote instruction. Board member Jeff Fulchino wrote about one such visit to his daughter after the family pet had passed away.
Described as having the “patience of an angel and the energy of the Energizer Bunny,” one parent put it perfectly when she said that “teaching is her lifestyle and her kids are her family. She takes care of every little heart she teaches.”
One student said, and his older siblings confirmed, that she is the best teacher ever. The Teacher of the Year committee sure agrees.
Normally, this teacher is capturing all of the great moments in her school and in our district through photography. I guess we’re going to have to ask Lisa to turn the camera around right now for a selfie because it is my great pleasure to recognize Lisa Martinsky as Monroe Public Schools’ Teacher of the Year!