School District Names Maria Fazio Colangelo As Teacher Of The Year
Plainville Community Schools has named Plainville High School teacher Maria Fazio Colangelo as the 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year.
Fazio Colangelo has been an educator for 37 years, and at Plainville High School for 25 of those years, teaching Italian, Reading and English as a Second Language. Prior to that, she taught English and Reading at East Catholic High School in Manchester, Connecticut, and English, Geography and Reading at Saint Francis Middle School in New Britain, Connecticut. She has also taught in both the Plainville and New Britain Adult Education programs, and has served as a part-time lecturer at Tunxis Community College. Further, she is a member of the district's Student Success Planning Committee, the Plainville High School Senior Citizen Prom Committee, the PBIS Committee, and serves as Chair of the Students Rock Awards Committee. She has also served as presenter of the district's Volunteer of the Year Award from 2013-16. Fazio Colangelo is a member and Italian recitation judge for the Connecticut Italian Teachers Association, member of the American Association of Teachers of Italian, member of the Connecticut Organization of Language Teachers, and a member of the Calabria Mia Society â€" a civic non-profit organization that promotes pride in the Italian culture and language. Fazio Colangelo was also a committee member of the Dance for Autism organization.
When asked about her philosophy of teaching, Fazio Colangelo explained, "My philosophy of teaching today is the same as it was when I first began teaching. Much about our world has changed since then, but the basic skills one needs to survive in our ever changing world have not. I base my philosophy of education on the skills my students need to be successful in the world beyond high school. I want to equip my students with problem solving skills by helping them develop higher order thinking skills, encouraging them to be critical, logical and reflective. Working collaboratively with others is a refreshing change from the isolation game apps and video games often promote. Despite the great advancements in technology, basic communication skills continue to be essential to survival in the "real world." Listening skills have become a "lost art," yet our students can learn so much from being active listeners. In our fast-paced, noisy world, we must help our students to appreciate the benefits of quiet listening. I often tell my students that no matter where life leads them, knowing how to read will be an important skill. Although reading skills are often associated with an elementary or middle school curriculum, I refuse to allow my students to think that it is too late to develop good reading skills."
As Teacher of the Year in Plainville, Fazio Colangelo will also participate as a candidate for Connecticut's 2017 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.
"Mrs. Colangelo is the epitome of what it means to be a teacher. She is dedicated, caring, loyal, passionate, charismatic, and extremely proud to see her students learning and growing through her many efforts. Maria gives her absolute best every day, whether in the classroom, preparing engaging lessons, running the Italian National Honor Society, co-advising the French-Italian Club, or volunteering to help others in so many ways. Maria is one of the hardest working people I know and there is absolutely nobody who cares more than she does about kids as learners and people," said Plainville High School Principal, Steven LePage.
"Maria's enthusiasm for teaching and learning is infectious. I have had the pleasure of working with Mrs. Colangelo on numerous career days and other student centered committees. Her Students Rock program is one of the best events of the year. Maria is a gem!" commented Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Maureen Brummett.
Fazio Colangelo holds both a bachelor of science degree and master of science degree from Central Connecticut State University, with certification as a professional educator in English, Italian, Reading and TESOL. Fazio Colangelo will be honored at the June 14th Plainville Board of Education meeting.
-Posted on June 2, 2016 at 04:34 PM
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