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Excellence in Teaching Award Recipients Announced

Post Date:02/10/2020 3:29 PM

Five West Springfield Public Schools educators have been selected to  receive the 2020 Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award: Courtney Atkins (Special Education teacher, WS Middle School), Nathan Holesovsky (Band Director, WS High School), Julie Penna (Grade 4 teacher, Mittineague School), Brittany Sullivan (Grade 3 teacher, Coburn School), and Michelle Longey, recipient of the New Teacher Award (English Language Learner teacher, Cowing Early Childhood program).  The educators were notified by a surprise visit at their school on February 6 from Superintendent Michael Richard.  Not only were the educators surprised and appreciative, but their students were as well!   "All of these outstanding educators  are deserving of this recognition.  Their dedication to their craft and their students is noteworthy.  They represent excellence in education across all levels - early childhood/elementary, middle school, and high school - and in a variety of areas of expertise, from fine and performing arts to Special Education, and grade level content to English Language Learners," explained Superintendent Richard.  

The educators will be honored at a gala event for Excellence in Teaching Award recipients on May 6 at The Log Cabin in Holyoke.   Award winners will receive a cash prize, graduate course tuition incentives from six colleges and universities, one-year membership from WGBY, three-month memberships to the local YMCA and Springfield Jewish Community Center, and a $100 deposit upon the opening of an ARRHA Credit Union account. 

The Excellence in Teaching Awards program is made possible by the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation in partnership with MassMutual and the Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation, with additional business and community support from a number of local organizations.  

For more information about the Excellence in Teaching Awards Program, contact Program Coordinator Michelle Roberts at

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