M-W High School teachers recognized for excellence in teaching

on January 3, 2019

M-W High School teachers Tom Lee (social studies) and Todd Hyman (English) received the Collaborators of Excellence Award at the recent annual conference of the New York State English Council (NYSEC). The pair was honored for their Humanities 10 program.  In addition, M-W High School teacher Matt Hodges was honored with an Early Career Scholarship.

According to NYSEC web site, the Collaborators of Excellence award recognizes excellence in team teaching. The team must work collaboratively together and share responsibility for interdisciplinary curriculum, lesson design or instruction of a shared group of students. The programs and awards supported by NYSEC provide opportunities for professional leadership, promote excellence in English education, and foster collegiality and camaraderie among ELA educators throughout New York State.

For four years now, Mr. Hyman and Mr. Lee have been hard at work – as have each of our grade-level Humanities teams – planning, prepping and brainstorming every single day. They have designed lessons that meet and exceed the Next Generation English and Language Arts Standards and the NYS Framework for Social Studies. They engage students in discussions and activities designed to get them thinking about the human experience in literature and in history.

One manifestation of the cross-curricular literacy, critical thinking and public speaking skill development is their use of debates – such as one on which economic system is better: capitalism or communism. The students take on the role of researchers and defend the ideas of Adam Smith and Karl Marx in front of their peers.

“Mr. Hyman and Mr. Lee each bring unique talents and areas of expertise to the classroom that cause them to address perspective in the reading of texts, creating a uniquely rich learning environment in their respective and integrated course. They are most deserving of this award and recognition for their work,” said English Department Chair Michelle Bulla

In addition, Matthew Hodges was awarded the Early Career Scholarship Award. This award is presented to up to five new teachers who have been teaching five or fewer years. The scholarship pays for full conference registration to the NYSEC conference the following year, at which the recipient is honored, as well as a one-year membership to NYSEC.

“Mr. Hodge’s intelligence and passion for language have translated into lessons that are intense and representative of a very difficult balance of high level material and scaffolding that enables students to successfully access complex concepts. He brings the full complement of his content-learning from undergraduate and graduate level classes to his teaching, believing that students can make conceptual leaps when backwards design is used to full effect. We are thrilled to have Mr. Hodges on our team, and see great things in his career as a teacher as he is an absolute pleasure to work with, and eager to grow,” said Bulla. 

Matthew Hodges was an Early Career Scholarship winner.

Matthew Hodges was an Early Career Scholarship winner.

High School teachers Tom Lee and Todd Hyman earned the Collaborators Award for Excellence at a recent NYSEC Conference.

Teachers Tom Lee and Todd Hyman earned the Collaborators Award for Excellence.