Monday, June 8, 2015

Pottstown's Teachers of the Year

Photo by Emmanuel Wilkerson
Pottstown School District's Teachers of the Year for 2015

Pottstown Schools honored their best teachers at the most recent school board meeting, naming a Teacher of the Year for each school building, and then an overall Teacher of the Year for the entire district.

Those named are:

  • Barth Elementary: Mary Ellen Lammey
  • Franklin Elementary:Tina Ludy
  • Lincoln Elementary: Karen Seemann
  • Rupert Elementary: Christine Fiorillo
  • Middle School 5/6: Aaron Torrance
  • Middle School 7/8: John Martin
  • High School: Scott Braunsberg
And the District Teacher of the year is Mary Ellen Lammey.

What follows is a write-up of each teacher's nomination letter, beginning with Miss Lammey.

Mary Ellen Lammey
When it comes to producing, it would be next to impossible to find someone who does it better than this teacher.

Through her systematic approach to meeting the needs of each and every child in
Photo Courtesy of John Armato

Pottstown's Teacher of the Year, Mary Ellen Lammy,

with School Board President Judyth Zahora and
Superintendent Jeff Sparagana.
her classroom, she has demonstrated time and time again that she is capable of growing students beyond their capacity; often taking students who were well below grade level and getting them to the proficient level.

One colleague described her as an "enthusiastic educator who implements cutting edge strategies in her classroom on a regular basis."

Another colleague who has worked with this teacher for years said "when I think of the type of teacher I want for my own child, this teacher immediately comes to mind." In education, there is no higher compliment. Congratulations to the Barth Elementary school teacher of the year.

Tina Ludy
Franklin's teacher of the year has been at Franklin elementary school for two years, but has taught in the Pottstown school district for over 30 years.

She is a Pottstown High School graduate, and followed in her father's footsteps when she began working at Franklin elementary. She's a passionate and energetic teacher, known to be extremely patient and dedicated. 

She is seen as a leader in the building, often mentoring new teachers. She has been an active member of the earth day committee and brought the "respect program" to Franklin to help teach students about taking care of the environment.  
She also brought the "Read for Ronald" program to Franklin, encouraging students to read, while raising money for the Ronald McDonald house in Philadelphia. 

Karen Seemann
Lincoln's teacher of the year works collaboratively with colleagues, administrators, and parents.

This extraordinary teacher plans and coordinates with three grade level teachers to ensure that all students' academic needs are being met on a daily basis. She attends student study team meetings and provides strategies and interventions to meet the needs of not only her students but of all students. 

She forges partnerships with families to promote student learning at home and in the school. This teacher displays a positive and enthusiastic attitude in her daily instruction. 

She genuinely loves teaching children and it shows each and every day. She consistently demonstrates and utilizes positive reinforcement with all of her students and she always makes a positive contribution to the overall climate of the school. 

Christine Fiorillo
The Rupert teacher of the year always has the door to her classroom open to students and staff. She's caring and compassionate toward colleagues and students who are always put first.

She is viewed by her peers as a valuable resource, and makes it a priority to address the emotional, behavioral, and academic needs of her students every day. This teacher provides a classroom environment that allows students to grow, feel successful, and cared for. She incorporates technology and kinesthetic learning into her daily lessons, while focusing on the individual needs of each child. 

 This teacher also works hard to establish positive relationships with parents. She communicates with them on a daily basis and partners with them as their child grows under her care. She works hard outside of school on nights and weekends, earning her master’s degree and reading specialist certificate. 

 The Rupert staff is very fortunate to have her as a member of their family.

Aaron Torrance
Sometimes, you do not know the extent of someone's influence and good works until they are no longer present to do them. Last school year this teacher left the middle school for half a year due to an unexpected injury.

Administrators could tell immediately that his absence would affect the fifth grade staff. The middle school was at a loss… And there was no way to fill it. 

Thankfully, he was back this year. His mentoring and guidance with younger staff is amazing and his “problem solver” attitude is contagious among all of the staff. The way students are engaged in his classroom is a sight to see. 

The energy that he displays is exhausting. He makes sure each student in his class is paying attention and grasps the concepts that are being taught. He is truly a lifelong learner, as well as a creative and caring teacher.

John Martin
The Pottstown middle school seventh and eighth grade is proud to recognize the great works that this teacher accomplishes every day in his classroom.

Visiting his class is often a sensory experience. Students learn about different cultures by completing hands-on projects, discussing ideas with peers, watching videos from around the world, and preparing for assessments in partners and groups. 

His classroom is child-centered and he develops of the types of relationships that motivate students to achieve at their highest level. He takes on student success as his personal mission. 

He is a consistent figure in the hallways, offering encouragement and support to students. This modest and quiet man was surprised to be nominated by his peers, but no one was surprised when he was selected as this year’s 7th & 8th Grade Pottstown Middle School teacher of the year.

Scott Braunsburg
The teacher of the year for Pottstown High School is also a PHS alumnus, and has been teaching at his Alma Matre for the past 18 years. He has been involved in sports and co-curricular activities, coaching both boys tennis and golf through the years.

He currently helps students in the learning center after school as they study, complete homework, and prepare for their classes. Providing science instruction almost exclusively to ninth graders, this teacher has been a leader in the development of the Freshman Academy and has helped other teachers as the Federation representative for the professional staff. 

Most recently, he was the coach advisor to the advanced placement student field trip to Costa Rica and is starting to plan for another field trip next year. While he would not describe himself as a building leader, he is always advocating for students.


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