2018 Excellence in Teaching Awards Program Honors 113 in 3 Banquet Programs

Contact Person: Sue Kline, Director
The Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation

Date: May 14, 2018
Contact information: sue@hgf.org | 413-575-5071

The third and last spring banquet honoring a total of 113 teachers in Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden Counties was held on May 10th at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. The most recent event, moderated by State Senator Eric Lesser, himself a Longmeadow High School graduate, drew 425 attendees to recognize 46 teachers in Springfield, Longmeadow and 6 other Hampden County school districts. Every winner received a check for $500, an engraved plaque, memberships at the YMCA and Springfield Jewish Community Center, and other gifts.

An additional $250 Classroom Innovator Prize was awarded to 7 teachers submitting an outstanding project idea to carry out with students during the next academic year. Tuition credit for graduate courses was also granted to winners by Elms College, Bay Path University, Springfield College, Western New England University, Westfield State University, and Mount Holyoke College. Among 2018 winners, three will receive Mount Holyoke’s $10,000 scholarship toward a 2-year Master of Arts in Teaching degree.

Massachusetts State Commissioner of Education Jeff Riley, just a month into his tenure, was a special guest. Riley drew applause for his remarks about a new educational vision with decreased emphasis on standardized testing.

Funding partners Harold Grinspoon of the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation, Mary Walachy, CEO of the Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation, and Ali Mathias, Vice-President of the MassMutual Foundation were on hand to present the award to individual winners.

A short film shown for the first time featured inspirational projects of 2017 Classroom Innovator Prize recipients. Among banquet guests were two of its stars: 5th grade teacher Sharon Dasilva of the William N. DeBerry Elementary School in Springfield and art teacher William Griffin of Glenbrook Middle School in Longmeadow.

The Excellence in Teaching Awards have been given to more than 1500 educators in Western Massachusetts since the program’s launch in 2003.  For more information about the 2018 program, honoring Western Massachusetts educators in Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire Counties and a complete list of 2018 award recipients, visit www.hgcf.org

Teaching in Excellence Awards

Award Winners Janelle Clarke and Elizabeth Rivera from Springfield Public Schools enjoy the gala reception.

Teaching in Excellence Awards

Master of Ceremonies Senator Eric Lesser addresses the audience at the May 10th Awards Ceremony

Teaching in Excellence Awards

Superintendent Albert Ganem Jr. poses with three winning teachers from Hampden-Wilbraham Regional Schools, Kara Gelinas, Emily Shimansky and Rebecca Hildreth.