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2019 BPS Educator of the Year Award Winners Announced

EOY Header 2019

Boston Public Schools Educators Recognized for Their Exceptional Contributions to the Community

BOSTON — Monday, April 8, 2019 — The Boston Public Schools (BPS), the City of Boston, and the Boston Teachers Union (BTU), are pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 BPS Educator of the Year Awards.

The Educator of the Year Awards recognize the exceptional educators who go above and beyond to impact the lives of BPS students and community members. The program celebrates educators who exemplify a commitment to the profession by selecting educators who are worthy of representing the positive contributions of teaching staff  districtwide.

The awards honor teachers, paraprofessionals, librarians, and other support staff. Fellow teachers, families, students, community members, and others were invited to nominate educators who they believed to be deserving of recognition for their contributions to the school community.

“I am grateful that we have so many dedicated teachers, support staff, and administrators in the Boston Public Schools who make our students' futures brighter each and every day, and change our students' lives for the better," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “These educators show unwavering commitment to their school communities and go above and beyond to prepare our students for future success. I am proud to highlight their success as winners of the 2019 Educator of the Year Awards.”

This year’s finalists were invited to bring a guest and watch players warm up before the final home game of the Boston Celtics’ regular season on Sunday, April 7. The 2019 winners were also honored at center court during halftime of the game.

“The Educator of the Year Awards are a great way to honor the deep commitment of our BPS staff,” said Boston School Committee Chairperson Michael Loconto. “These educators are serving some of our highest needs students, and are a great representation of the talent and steadfast commitment to learning of this district. For every winner we're proud to announce today, we know there are hundreds of other teachers pouring their heart, soul and knowledge into supporting our kids every day. I'm proud of the Educator of the Year award winners for being consummate professionals and unequivocal role models for their school communities.”

During the nomination period, BTU, BPS, and the City of Boston invited school faculty and staff, students, families, and community members, to nominate exemplary educators to honor their work and dedication to their profession. “Educators” is an encompassing term including teachers, paraprofessionals, nurses, librarians, and guidance counselors. To be considered for the award, nominees had to be in good standing with both the BTU and BPS.

“These educators are pillars of their school communities and instrumental in the personal and educational development of their students,” said BPS Interim Superintendent Laura Perille. “I was honored to personally notify the award winners of this distinction, learning more about the important work they do every day inside our schools. I look forward to further celebrating their profound contributions to BPS in the coming weeks.”

This year, we received close to 400 nominations, the highest number ever received. Submissions included letters of support, samples of student work, photographs, videos, and other testimonials. In addition to the nine teachers honored, this year’s winners also include a school psychologist and clinical coordinator. Two of the nine teachers are special education teachers. This year’s winner’s also include a teaching pair. In addition, four of 11 winners have been teaching in BPS for at least 20 years, with two finalists retiring at the end of this school year.

The 2019 BPS Educator of the Year award winners are: 

Jillian Archer Jillian Archer, Curtis Guild Elementary: A school psychologist whose East Boston school community, led by Principal Karen McCarthy, compiled an entire packet of heartfelt nominations.
Tanya Boone Tanya Boone, Samuel Adams Elementary: A veteran BPS educator from Mattapan, Ms. Boone has been an integral part of the East Boston community throughout her 31-year teaching career. Some of her recent students were children of former students.

Brad Parad

Javier Castillo

Javier Castillo and Ben Parad, Rafael Hernández K-8: A teaching pair at the dual language school, these two educators were frequently cited for their thoughtful collaboration. Mr. Parad teaches English and Spanish Language Arts, while Mr. Castillo teaches math and science.
georgie chavez Georgeann Chavez, William Monroe Trotter K-8: Ms. Chavez, a grade 5 teacher, has been teaching for over 30 years, with 20 of those years in BPS and 8 at the Trotter. She is retiring from teaching following this school year.

Alice Daly

Alice Daly, Joseph Lee K-8: A special education teacher for students with Autism in grades 7 and 8. Among other nominations, Ms. Daly was commended by a parent for consistently providing positive updates about her child with limited speech.
Erik Grau Erik Grau, Henry L. Higginson K0-2: Now a K2 inclusion teacher, Mr. Grau was previously the school’s Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) supervisor. In nominations, colleagues frequently mentioned Mr. Grau’s continued counsel and willingness to share his behavior analysis expertise.
Lisa Betchel Lisa Johnson-Bechtel, Mary Lyon High: A high school clinical coordinator, Ms. Johnson-Bechtel is deeply embedded in the school community and spearheaded LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) initiative to create a more inclusive school community for students.
Mark Sacco Mark Sacco, Josiah Quincy Elementary: A special education teacher for grades K0-5, Mr. Sacco is another 20-year BPS veteran. “He is passionate about providing access and agency for all learners, including all of the adults that work with our students,” said Quincy Principal Cynthia Soo Hoo.
Sam Texiera Samuel Texeira, Dr. William W. Henderson K-12 Inclusion: A high school history teacher and 2017 Educator of the Year honorable mention, Mr. Texeira’s “Strong Men, Strong Leaders” elective class is very popular among the school’s young men. “We need him more than we need me,” said Henderson Principal Tricia Lampron.
Ally Via Allyson Via, Boston Latin Academy: With almost 20 years of experience in BPS, Ms. Via, an AP biology teacher, was nominated by two different school leaders for her numerous contributions to the BLA community. 

“The Educator of the Year Awards are a wonderful way to highlight the hard work and exceptional talent in this district’s teaching force,” said BTU President Jessica Tang. “These educators go the extra mile to ensure our students reach their full potential. Congratulations to the winners, and all of our teachers and staff who work every day to ensure a quality educational experience for Boston students.”

Educator of the Year award winners, their families and colleagues will be invited to attend a reception in May to honor their exemplary work and profound commitment to their school communities.