The "Best Practice Award: This award goes to a staff member that differentiates instruction and elicits student engagement.
June 2016: Johann Derflinger
Mr. Derflinger is innovative in designing and implementing his lessons. He is always seeking new strategies to engage all of his students in his Art instruction. During instructional time, Mr. Derflinger effectively models each strategy and provides meaningful feedback to his students. Mr. Derflinger also successfully completed his first year of Art Club by showcasing students’ amazing accomplishments!! Congratulations, Mr. Derflinger!
May 2016: Mike Skomba
Mr. Skomba consistently seeks new strategies and techniques to implement in his daily instruction. He provides students with real-world opportunities as he organizes field trips and virtual learning experiences throughout the year. Recently, he facilitated a professional development seminar with local educators to collaborate and share ideas within his Big History class. Great job, Mr. Skomba!
April 2016: Jen Ferguson
Mrs. Ferguson continually embraces new knowledge and information gained from attendance in a variety of professional development opportunities. Recently, she has implemented an instructional style that embeds the essential question into every aspect of the instructional delivery. This method heightened student interest and deepened understanding of complex themes. Upon implementation, Mrs. Ferguson witnessed her students’ increased engagement, awareness and comprehension of complex concepts. Mrs. Ferguson enthusiastically shares her knowledge and methods with colleagues in order to positively impact the greatest number of our students. Thank you for your commitment to the students of Somerville!
March 2016: Jennifer Osborn
Mrs. Osborn fosters a classroom environment for each of her students to grow and succeed. She creates differentiated activities using leveled texts and scaffolding to allow each student to demonstrate their understanding of lesson concepts. During independent work time, students are engaged in activities that get them moving around the room and using technology. Meanwhile, Mrs. Osborn formatively assesses her students and provides specific instruction to meet their needs. Mrs. Osborn helps her students to build strong work habits by establishing solid classroom routines and encouraging them to self-reflect on their progress each day. Amazing work, Mrs. Osborn!
February 2016: Katie Parsells
Mrs. Parsells goes above and beyond to identify individual needs of her students. Her students are provided with ample opportunities to explore their curioisties by engaging in various hands-on activities. Mrs. Parsells also uses various ways to assess her students' learning progress by providing her students with specific feedback during independent, small, and large group activities. Students in Mrs. Parsells class learn to become independent thinkers due to Mrs. Parsells' hard work in establishing a consistent routine, holding her students to higher expectations, and providing her students with meaning and individualized feedback. Great job, Mrs. Parsells!
January 2016: Michelle Cobos
Mrs. Cobos is an advocate for her ESL students. She offers time before and after school to work with her students on specific strategies and content in which they are struggling. She also collaborates with her colleagues on a consistent basis to gain a better understanding on the progress of her students. She shares additional strategies with her colleagues. Ms. Cobos continuously seeks out additional resources, including books from the American Reading Company, to incorporate student choice and engagement in the classroom. She differentiates her instruction with a variety of modalities to meet the needs of the students in her class. Way to go, Micki!
December 2015: Jocelyn Eckardt
While reading “And Then There Were None," by Agatha Christie, Mrs. Eckardt noticed her students displayed exceptional interest in the mystery genre. She capitalized on this passion by providing books for her students to meet their individual reading level from a similar genre. As a result, Mrs. Eckardt’s students developed a new passion for reading. Thank you, Mrs. Eckardt for your insight and understanding of your students needs. Great work Mrs. Eckardt!
November 2015: Meghan Royack
Mrs. Royack implemented a Whole Brain teaching strategy in her language arts classroom to effectively engage the multiple learning styles of her students. Mrs. Royack does an outstanding job involving students in their own learning. To do so, Mrs. Royack assigns arm or hand gestures to new language arts concepts. Mrs. Royack models these gestures to students, and then students use these gestures to teach each other, supporting visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners in an engaging and memorable experience.
October 2015: Freddie Shaker
Mr. Shaker implemented several strategies for “flipping” his geometry class, which allowed for class time to be utilized for students' implementation of knowledge. In place of class lecture, students viewed short web-based lectures at home, then immediately put their knowledge into practice. His energy and positive attitude create an active learning environment and students are challenged to demonstrate knowledge. Students benefit learning in an environment that promotes questioning and higher-leveled thinking. Great job!