2018 - 2019 Teacher of the Year

Matthew Dobi has been named the 2019 Suffield Teacher of the Year.

Suffield Schools is proud to announce Matthew Dobi as the district’s 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year. Matt is a social studies teacher at Suffield Middle School.

Matt Dobi is described by his colleagues as a dynamic teacher whose goal is to get to know his students’ learning strengths and styles. He creates classroom activities that center around state standards and best practices. This teacher challenges each student for where they are academically, and uses his creativity and devotion to develop meaningful lessons. His positive personality hooks his students, and makes learning fun.

Matt stresses the importance of building teacher-student and peer relationships. He stated that he enjoys developing project based learning so that the students can collaborate together in order to solve problems. The Teacher of the Year committee observed this firsthand in his classroom. Matt not only encouraged collaborative interactions, but fostered critical thinking skills.

Matt also commits to after school activities by coaching cross country, basketball, and track and field. He is a co-leader of the Student Council as well as a team leader. Matt is described by his colleagues as a teacher with whom staff goes to for help, or to discuss curriculum ideas.

Matt spoke of being inspired by a quote from an accomplished basketball player and UCLA coach, John Wooden. These few words sum up nicely his journey as a compassionate and dedicated teacher: “Little things make big things happen.”

Matt was recognized by the Board of Education at its September 4, 2018 meeting and at the state wide reception on December 5, 2018.

2017 - 2018 Teacher of the Year - Denise Rigby

2017 - 2018 Teacher of the Year

Denise Rigby has been named the 2018 Suffield Teacher of the Year.

Suffield School’s is proud to announce Denise Rigby as the district’s 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year. Denise has worked as a Speech and Language Pathologist at A. Ward Spaulding School for the past 13 years. Her wealth of knowledge, experience, and dedication to her craft has helped her become a master teacher and model for the Suffield School district.

Denise exemplifies the best qualities a teacher can possess. She is committed to providing high quality, meaningful instruction to students every day and firmly believes that it is her responsibility to ensure that every child she works with learns. “I feel blessed to have the opportunity to use my interests in being creative to foster my strong drive to help students reach their full potential.”

Her calm demeanor provides a safe and reassuring environment where students are at ease, and confident in their abilities. Denise’s students are so successful because of the priority she places on building a close relationship with each individual child. She focuses on their interests and designs her lessons to highly engage her students.

Denise is well known within her school as a collaborative problem-solver. It is her goal to have all students be able to come to school and participate within their classroom through modifications she collaboratively puts into place with teachers. “I realize that the most impact I can have on the education and social/emotional well-being of any given child, depends on my consistent positive interactions with students, and collaborative efforts with teachers, staff and families.” Denise is a role model for service providers and keeps the special education team going strong.

Denise Rigby will be recognized by the Board of Education at its September 5, 2017 meeting and at the state wide reception in November.

Congratulations to the 2017-2018 Suffield Teacher of the Year Nominees:

A. Ward Spaulding School

  • Elizabeth Jury
  • Denise Rigby

McAlister Intermediate School

  • Amy Craven
  • Erin Grasso

Suffield Middle School

  • Michael Alexopoulos
  • Chad Allegro
  • Matthew Dobi
  • Tyler Wolfson

Suffield High School

  • Mark Beigel
  • Kevin Courchesne
  • Christina DeAngelis
  • Lisa Goodwin
  • Mark Janick
  • Justin Kaput
  • Magdalena Kruk
  • Kate McCluskey
  • David Szabla

2016 - 2017 Teacher of the Year - Cynthia Pfaff

2016 - 2017 Teacher of the Year

Cynthia Pfaff, a middle school social studies teacher at Suffield Middle School, has been named the 2017 Suffield Teacher of the Year.

We all have been hearing about the attributes of Cynthia Pfaff for a very long time! For those of you who may not have had the opportunity to work with or be affected by our next Teacher of the Year please allow me fill you in.

When you come across a person who:

  • Consistently speaks professionally to and with colleagues,
  • Thoroughly conveys ideas, strategies and challenges to students,
  • Effectively and respectfully teaches you,
  • Creatively contributes to growth mindsets,
  • Passionately inspires anyone fortunate enough to happen by,
  • Enthusiastically cheers everyone forward, and
  • Maintains an upbeat and fun outlook wherever they happen to be…

then you know you have the makings of an outstanding educator!

Keywords: Consistent. Professional. Thorough. Effective. Respectful. Creative. Contributor. Passionate. Inspires. Enthusiastic. Positive.

We’ve heard them before. Necessary attributes.

However, add volumes of tenacity, unique approaches in intriguing students while helping them succeed and toss it all with the philosophy of “We all have different gifts” then something quite wonderful happens…………in Room C134.

Congratulations to Suffield’s 2017 Teacher of the Year…Cynthia Pfaff

Ms. Pfaff was recognized by the Board of Education at its June 6, 2016 meeting.

Congratulations to all of the 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year Nominees:

A. Ward Spaulding School

  • Megan Blais
  • Heather Goldstein
  • Yvette Leahey
  • Cali McGinn

McAlister Intermediate School

  • Michael Kaulins
  • Alicia Pitocco
  • Denise Raymond

Suffield Middle School

  • Matthew Dobi
  • Anne Kelly
  • Cynthia Pfaff
  • Daniel Spada

Suffield High School

  • Paul Dumais
  • Noreen Harnett
  • Mark Janick
  • Tim Shea

2015 - 2016 Teacher of the Year - Stephannie Holland

2015 - 2016 Teacher of the Year

Stephannie Holland, a high school English/drama teacher at Suffield High School, has been named the 2016 Suffield Teacher of the Year.

Honored at a district wide celebration on Tuesday, May 12, Stephannie was chosen from 17 incredible nominees for the award. For the past 13 years, Stephannie has worked to touch the lives of every student she works with. In her words, “Every child’s dreams are important and achievable if you are willing to put the work in.” Colleagues spoke to her genuine desire to ensure that every child finds their place and how her work at Suffield High School has “rescued” so many. When asked how Stephannie deals with challenging situations within her day, she responded with enthusiasm saying, “Each moment, struggle, challenge, person or group you meet will never happen in that way again. Embrace the beauty in them.” Stephannie emits a feeling of positivity and exuberance that is undeniable. Her love for life, learning, and teaching has led her to be an exceptional example within the teaching profession. Stephannie will represent Suffield Public Schools as she goes forward this summer to participate in the state wide selection process for Connecticut Teacher of the Year.

Ms. Holland will be recognized by the Board of Education at its June 2, 2015 meeting.

Congratulations to the 2015-2016 Suffield Teacher of the Year Nominees:

Erin Grasso
Jessica Lyver
Lauren Perleoni
Denise Rigby
Abby Wolcott
Mary Halzack
Amy Larson
Kelly Meyer
Cliff Oliver
Denise Raymond
Lisa DeFord
Cynthia Pfaff
Erika Vella
Carole Zaczynski
Christine DeAngelis
Stephannie Holland
Barbara Klaus

2014 - 2015 Teacher of the Year - Kris Pryce

Kris Pryce

Literacy Specialist / Lead Teacher

A. Ward Spaulding Elementary School

At the June 3rd Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Baldwin highlighted Mrs. Pryce’s collaborative nature and deep focus on serving all children. Her attributes help build and contribute to a positive culture at Spaulding. Dr. Baldwin presented Mrs. Pryce with a plaque.

Each of the candidates for Teacher of the Year displayed a passion for teaching and leading through their work both in the classroom and in staff development. They demonstrated this passion for teaching to the Teacher of the Year Committee on May 21 and 22, 2014 with a series of presentations that were remarkable. These teachers have earned the respect, admiration, and trust of their colleagues, parents, and students and each and every committee member. They all exemplify the qualities we look for in outstanding teachers – creativity, dedication, a love of learning, mastery of content and a true commitment to excellence.

2014-2015 Teacher of the Year Nominees:

* Yvette Leahey, Grade 2 Classroom Teacher, Spaulding Elementary School

* Erin Grasso, Grade 1 Classroom Teacher, Spaulding Elementary School

* Danielle Bennett, Grade 5 Classroom Teacher, McAlister Intermediate School

* Alicia Pitocco, Grade 4 Classroom Teacher, McAlister Intermediate School

* Gina Quimby, Grade 4 Classroom Teacher, McAlister Intermediate School

2013 - 2014 Teacher of the Year - Shannon Insero

We are pleased to announce the 2013-2014 Teacher of the Year, Shannon Insero. Shannon is a second grade teacher with an abiding commitment to the success of all students. As part of her presentation to the Teacher of the Year Committee, Shannon shared that she desires for students to love to come to school each day, develop a love for learning, leave school each day a more passionate and compassionate person, and know fully that she believes in them. The colleagues who nominated Shannon spoke of her ability to create a safe and engaging learning climate for all children and of her ability to meet the varying needs of all learners.

The opportunity for the school community to acknowledge excellence in teaching, and celebrate the talent that is present across the district, is an important element of creating a positive, professional culture.

2013-2014 Teacher of the Year nominees

Mary Halzack, Grade 3 Teacher, McAlister Intermediate School

Gina Quimby, Grade 4 Teacher, McAlister Intermediate School

Danielle Bennett, Grade 5 Teacher, McAlister Intermediate School

Laura Noonan, Music Teacher, Suffield Middle School

Mark Beigel, Science Teacher, Suffield High School

2018-2019 Teacher of the Year Nominees

These nominees have established learning environments that encourage students to be risk-takers much as they all are. They are passionate about the work they do to improve student learning and continuously try to find ways to improve their teaching.

Congratulations to the 2018-2019 Suffield Teacher of the Year Nominees:

Suffield Middle School

  • Heather Casinghino
  • Matthew Dobi
  • Kim Marker
  • Jen Plourde
  • Theresa Sweeney

Suffield High School

  • Kevin Courchesne
  • Jason Efland
  • Joe Grimard
  • Kate McCluskey
  • Mike Sanchez

Suffield Public Schools 350 Mountain Road, Suffield, CT 06078
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