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For Immediate Release
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Contact:Heidi Guarino 781-338-3106 or JC Considine 781-338-3112

17 Massachusetts Teachers Honored for Excellence in Teaching

BOSTON - Seventeen Massachusetts teachers who have received awards for their excellence in the classroom were recognized at a Statehouse ceremony on Thursday.

The 17 teachers include the state's five finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, two 2007 Massachusetts Milken Educators, and the 10 recipients of the 2007 Awards for Excellence in Teaching Students with Asperger Syndrome.

"These teachers stand out in our state because they don't just teach, they commit themselves to providing each and every student with the best education possible," said Acting Education Commissioner Jeffrey Nellhaus. "Their work in the classroom, their devotion to their students and their commitment to excellence helps our students learn and sets an example for other teachers to follow."

Acting Commissioner Nellhaus was joined by state Representative Patricia Haddad, co-chair of the Joint Committee on Education, to honor the following recipients.

"As a former teacher, I know that educators across the state our their heart and soul into their work and their students," said Rep. Haddad. "Too often that extra effort goes unrecognized. It's a wonderful moment when we can all pause and honor those special, inspirational, and outstanding teachers like those we are here to recognize today."

The three awards and the individuals honored were:

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics & Science Teaching

The Presidential Awards Program was established in 1983 by The White House and is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The program identifies outstanding mathematics and science teachers in each state. This year's Massachusetts finalists are:

Science Finalists

  • Matthew Anthes-Washburn, Parkway Academy of Technology and Health, Boston
  • Janet Duffy, Hingham High School, Hingham
  • Kathleen Shea, Nipmuc Regional High School, Upton

Mathematics Finalists

  • Catherine Cabral, Somerset High School, Somerset
  • Sean Walker, Memorial Middle School, Fitchburg

2007 Massachusetts Milken Award Winners

The Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award was established in 1983 by brothers Lowell and Michael Milken. Recipients each receive a check for $25,000, a trip to Los Angeles for a conference and awards ceremony, and membership in the network of previous Milken winners. This was the 11th year that Massachusetts participated in the program. This year's recipients are:

  • Anne Clark, Curriculum and Special Education Coordinator, English Language Arts Teacher, Boston Arts Academy, Boston
  • Matthew Dugan, Science Teacher, Madison Park Technical Vocational High, Boston

2007 Awards for Excellence in Teaching Students with Asperger's Syndrome

The Watertown-based Asperger's Association of New England sponsors the Awards for Excellence in Teaching Students with Asperger's Syndrome. The Association's mission is to foster awareness, respect, acceptance and support of individuals with Asperger's Syndrome and their families. This year's recipients are:

  • Michelle Dextraze, 6th Grade Aide, Freeman-Centennial Middle School, Norfolk
  • Laurie DiBella, Teaching Assistant, Mitchell Elementary School, Needham
  • Midge Foley, Teacher, Early Learning Center, Jamaica Plain
  • Maura Forcier, Kindergarten Teacher, Heath School, Chestnut Hill
  • Patrice Glancy, Teacher, Jackson/Mann Elementary School, Allston
  • Amy Gordon, ASD Consultant, Marshfield Public Schools, Marshfield
  • Marissa Gumas, Math Teacher, Blake Middle School, Medfield
  • Barbara Newkirk, Resource Teacher, Lexington High School, Lexington
  • Jaclyn Quesnel, Guidance Counselor, Lura A. White School, Shirley
  • Arlene Shainker, Inclusion Specialist, Northborough/Southborough Public Schools, Northborough

Last Updated: March 20, 2008
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