Greenwich Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones announced today that New Lebanon School’s Ms. Erin John is GPS’ selection for Connecticut State Department of Education’s 2024 Connecticut Teacher of the Year Program. She will be recognized at the Board of Education’s regularly scheduled business meeting on Wednesday, June 14 for this honor.
“Erin John is a vivacious and incredibly talented teacher who keeps her children engaged with early childhood transitions maximizing every minute of classroom instruction,” Dr. Jones said. “She represents the essence of why New Lebanon School was recognized this year by the State of Connecticut as a School of Distinction.
“She was amazing to watch during my classroom visit, as her non-stop energy had her students grinning from ear-to-ear as she challenged them to tackle math problems with quirky phrases she uses to build confidence and a positive classroom climate,” Jones added. “The children chimed in unison like a well orchestrated state championship team. Her students adore her and she has opened the window that learning should be challenging yet fun, collaborative, and supportive. Support specialists move in and out of her classroom without the students losing a beat. Every first year early childhood teacher should have the opportunity to watch her teach. It was a master class in excellence.”
“I am so honored to represent Greenwich Public Schools in the CT Teacher of the Year Program,” Ms. John said. “I hope that I have the opportunity to highlight what makes GPS so special: our teachers. We are educated, dedicated, and tenacious in our desire to help students grow. All of Connecticut deserves to know about our dynamic learning community in Greenwich.”
According to the Connecticut State Department of Education, the Teacher of the Year Program recognizes and honors teacher excellence. It does not attempt to select the “best” teacher; rather, to identify, from among many outstanding teachers of the year, one teacher to serve as a visible and vocal representative of what is best in the profession. The program celebrates excellence in teaching by recognizing teachers who have inspired a love for learning in their students and who have distinguished themselves in the profession.
“Erin John epitomizes the word 'distinguished' in every aspect,” New Lebanon Principal Alexandra Michaelson said. “Each moment in Erin's class is purposeful and planned. She wastes not a single minute from the second the bell rings to the moment she delivers a student to their bus or family. Her morning message is magnetic. She meshes academics, social emotional learning, and children's needs into a powerful message that is student-centered and often child led. Erin's focus on building the whole child is palpable. The words she chooses with children build their confidence, self-esteem, and independence. Erin inspires me to be a better educator every single day.”
Ms. John has been with GPS since 2012, first as a kindergarten teacher and now as first grade teacher at New Lebanon. She contributes on numerous teams and committees including the PTA Curriculum Enrichment Team, PBIS/Safe School Climate Team, and Social Committee as well as a presenter for the Magnet Open House. Ms. John received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Maryland, a master’s in Classroom Technology from Wilkes University, and Sixth-Year Certificates in Inclusive Classroom Teaching and Motivation & Classroom Management from the University of La Verne.
For more information about the CT Teacher of the Year Program, including its history, purpose, benefits, eligibility requirements, selection process, and the duties of the Connecticut Teacher of the Year, visit the CSDE website.