Plainville Community Schools, 47 Robert Holcomb Way, Plainville CT 06062, (860)793-3200

School District Names Todd Helming Teacher of the Year

Plainville Community Schools has named Middle School of Plainville Music Teacher Todd Helming the 2009-2010 Teacher of the Year. Helming was nominated by Plainville High School Music Teacher Jeff Blanchette, and had several letters of support from his principal, colleagues, parents and students.

When asked about his philosophy of teaching, Helming noted, " 'Learning is a conversation' exemplifies my philosophy as a music educator. 'Teaching' implies imparting knowledge from one person to another while 'education' refers both to a 'learning conversation' between students and educators, and an emphasis on developing students to become lifelong learners, active community members, and knowledgeable participants in society. Music is the vehicle I have selected to educate students."

Helming has been a general and choral music teacher for approximately six and one half years, serving for the duration of that time at the Middle School of Plainville, where he provides music education to more than 600 students in grades six through eight. Helming has excelled in a variety of student based and professional leadership positions. He is currently the MSP Communications Club Advisor, Founder and Director of the Chamber Singers, and Director of the MATHCOUNTS program at the middle school. In addition, Helming is Chair of the Northern Region Music Festival Choir and is a founding member and participating teacher of the Main Street Singers. Within the Plainville school district, he has served as a professional development and Beginning Educators Support and Training (BEST) presenter, coordinator for the middle school's Tools for Schools program, and also participated in the creation of the school district's technology plan. Helming has volunteered in a number of capacities including those with the Plainville Choral Society and Relay for Life. He is a member of the National Education Association, the Connecticut Education Association, the Connecticut Music Educator's Association, the American Guild of Organists, the American Choral Director’s Association, and the National Association for Music Education. In addition, he is currently a Minster of Music at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, and Director of Performance in the Multicultural Arts & Technology Summer Residency Program at Central Connecticut State University.

As Teacher of the Year in Plainville, Helming will also participate as a candidate for Connecticut's 2010 Teacher of the Year Program. Each district Teacher of the Year will be individually recognized at an awards ceremony later this year hosted by the Connecticut Department of Education.

"Todd Helming is an incredible role model for students and staff as he lives his passion for teaching every day. I am proud to say that he is an extremely successful graduate of the Plainville school district," commented Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Kathleen Binkowski.

Helming, a Berlin resident, attended the Göteborg International Organ Academy in Göteborg, Sweden, holds a bachelor of music degree from the Eastman School of Music, and a master of music degree from the University of Connecticut.
Helming will be honored at the June 8 Plainville Board of Education meeting.

-Posted on May 29, 2009 at 02:10 PM

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