Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Go to Selected Program Area
Massachusetts State Seal
Students & Families Educators & Administrators Teaching, Learning & Testing Data & Accountability Finance & Funding About the Department Education Board  

Educator Recognition Programs

2012 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Brochure

June 16, 2011

Dear Friends,

Teaching is both an art and science; the most difficult, most rewarding and most important of careers. While all classroom teachers should be recognized on a daily basis, the National Teacher of the Year Program is the oldest and most prestigious awards program that focuses public attention annually on excellence in teaching. Since 1952, the national program has recognized and honored the contributions of classroom teachers by granting one outstanding teacher a year's paid sabbatical. During that year, the teacher travels the nation and meets with a wide variety of audiences to address educational issues. The National Teacher of the Year Program, sponsored by ING, is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers.

The Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Program is administered by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in partnership with Hannaford Supermarkets. Each year the program honors a Massachusetts teacher who exemplifies fine teaching in the Commonwealth. The purpose of the program is to select a teacher who is worthy of speaking for and energizing the teaching profession, and representing the positive contributions of all teachers statewide. The Massachusetts Teacher of the Year automatically becomes the state's candidate for the National Teacher of the Year Program. The selection process for the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year began in the late Fall, with a call for nominations. An independent panel of experts, including past Teachers of the Year, reviewed written applications, interviewed four finalists, and recommended a candidate for my consideration for this year's honor.

I wish to thank the following corporations and organizations for supporting the 2012 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Program: Hannaford Supermarkets; Massachusetts Teachers Association; SMART Technologies; and the Teacher Leadership Academy.

I am proud to present the 2012 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year, Adam William Gray, from Monument High School in Boston. We wish him much energy and happiness in the year ahead.

Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D.
Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education

Meet the 2012 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year

Adam William Gray
Monument High School
Boston Public Schools

After graduating from the University of Georgia with a B.S.Ed. in mathematics education in 2005, Adam Gray moved to Massachusetts to begin his teaching career. A strong desire to educate and inspire urban students in a high need school led Adam to the South Boston Education Complex where he has taught mathematics at Monument High School for the past five years.

Adam believes that all students have the ability to achieve at high levels and that it is his duty as a teacher to help them reach their full potential. As a result, Adam's professional mission is twofold: to inspire his students to believe in their abilities, and to motivate them to accomplish the goals they set for themselves. He works towards achieving this by increasing students' confidence in their ability to be successful, by establishing a classroom culture where challenges are embraced, and by setting the expectation that greatness requires constant diligence.

In an effort to improve school culture and increase student outcomes, Adam founded Boston Public Schools' first Mu Alpha Theta (M.A.T.) honor society. The chapter's mission is to recognize outstanding student achievement in mathematics and other core subjects while providing deserving students with unique academic and enrichment opportunities. Adam's motivation behind starting this honor society was the opportunity to lionize traditionally 'uncool' academic success and provide incentives for all students to attain M.A.T. membership, thus encouraging lower-achieving yet fully capable students at Monument to be more consistent with their attendance and academics.

In addition to holding weekly M.A.T. college prep meetings, Adam secured over $45,000 in private funding for M.A.T. and chaperoned three excursions to Washington, D.C. and Chicago. In the three years since Adam founded the society, membership has leapt to 30 members, nearly 10% of Monument High's student body.

In addition to teaching mathematics and advising M.A.T., Adam is a Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellow. In this role, Adam meets monthly with other Fellows and Teach Plus leadership to learn about education policy at the federal, state, and district level and to discuss its impact on students and teachers at the classroom level. Adam has worked with other Teach Plus colleagues to increase the level of collaboration between more effective schools and their underperforming counterparts, as well as to foster greater union involvement among early career and second-stage teachers working in Boston Public Schools.

Other highlights in Adam's teaching career include serving on Monument's Instructional Leadership Team, participating on a discussion panel at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for graduate students teaching in Boston Public Schools, and co-presenting at Boston College's New Teacher Academy on Content Driven Test-Prep in the High Stakes Era: MCAS Preparation Without Teaching to the Test.

2012 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year, Adam Gray, contact information:

Last Updated: August 18, 2011
E-mail this page| Print View| Print Pdf  
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Search·Public Records Requests · A-Z Site Index · Policies · Site Info · Contact ESE