School District Names Melanie Olmstead Teacher of the Year
Posted on 06/28/2022
Plainville Community Schools has named Middle School of Plainville Health Teacher Melanie Olmstead as the 2022-2023 Teacher of the Year.  Olmstead was nominated by Middle School colleague Amy Tennant.

The Plainville school district began a new tradition this year in honoring a school based teacher of the year in each of the five Plainville schools, in addition to ultimately selecting a district teacher of the year.  The school based honorees were considered for the district recognition, and nominations had to reflect how candidates have demonstrated the school district’s core Portrait of the Graduate tenets, including being communicative, collaborative, innovative, mindful and resilient. The candidates were evaluated by the district’s Teacher of the Year Committee, and ultimately selected Olmstead as the 2022-23 Plainville Community Schools Teacher of the Year.

Olmstead has been an educator for nine years at the Middle School of Plainville serving as a Health teacher for her entire tenure.  In addition, she has supported a wide variety of Middle School programs and initiatives including spearheading the annual Veterans Day celebration with colleagues and organizing “Sweats for Vets”, a drive to support local veterans in need. She also collaborated with district and town colleagues on the “Chase The Chill” initiative to collect winter garments for those locally in need, and assisted with the coordination of the Middle School’s Hygiene Drive on behalf of the Plainville Community Food Pantry.  Olmstead is a member of the Wellness Committee, serves as the Education Association of Plainville’s Middle School Building Representative, and is the leader of the Unified Arts Team. Additionally, she serves as the school’s Ski Club Advisor.

Olmstead demonstrates all of the district’s Portrait of the Graduate tenets, with many examples cited  in her nomination written by colleague Amy Tennant, including being communicative and resilient.  “To be an effective communicator means being able to clearly express yourself while also being able to actively listen to the people in your presence.  It means speaking in a friendly tone and showing empathy so that the student knows and feels like the teacher genuinely cares about them. It is not only about speaking words, it also involves nonverbal communication like making eye contact and smiling. Melanie’s interest in helping students is sincere. The students know this and they seek her out at all different times of the day for her guidance and help,” explained Tennant. “Being able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult situations defines resilience. Melanie teaches her students ways to tap into their strength by being their support system at school to help them see they can work through their problems and overcome their challenges.”

As Teacher of the Year in Plainville, Olmstead will also participate as a candidate for Connecticut’s 2022 Teacher of the Year Program. Each district Teacher of the Year will be individually recognized later this year by the Connecticut Department of Education.

“Being selected as Teacher of the Year for MSP and now the district level is an honor that I will always hold dear.  Bringing sunshine to the students is what I strive to do daily.  They probably  don't realize it, but they do more for me than I do for them.  I will proudly represent Plainville at the state level,” said Olmstead.

“Mrs. Olmstead is an exceptional educator who is one of the most creative educators I have known. She makes learning interesting, exciting and fun and engages students in learning.  She is also highly dedicated to a number of school events, activities and clubs including our annual Veterans Day celebrations, and serves as the advisor to a very large and active ski club.  Mrs. Olmstead is a dynamic and enthusiastic force at the Middle School of  Plainville and a wonderful and positive member of our learning community. I offer my sincere congratulations to her for this honor, she will represent Plainville teachers very well!” commented Superintendent of Schools, Steven LePage.

Olmstead holds  a master of science degree in Health Education from Southern Connecticut State University and a sixth year degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of St. Joseph. She was honored at the June 14th Plainville Board of Education meeting.