Hartford Public Schools Nominates 41 Candidates for 2017 Teacher of the Year Award

Hartford Public Schools Nominates 41 Candidates for 2017 Teacher of the Year Award

TOY Banquet tickets are on sale now!

The competition for Hartford’s 2017 Teacher of the Year has begun with 41 teachers nominated by their schools to participate in this year’s selection process. (Photo above shows our 2016 nominees.)

Each nominee will now undergo an intensive screening and interview process conducted by a district-wide Teacher of the Year Committee made up of Hartford Public Schools curriculum directors, officials from the Hartford Federation of Teachers and previous award winners.

After its review, the committee selects three finalists. Each finalist will then be recorded on video while conducting a class in their school. They will also be asked to complete a series of written essay questions for the final evaluation.

The winner will be announced on Thursday, May 25th, at the annual Teacher of the Year Banquet to be held at the Hartford Marriott Downtown Hotel, located at 200 Columbus Blvd. Hartford Public Schools Acting Superintendent Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodríguez will serve as master of ceremonies for the evening.

All nominees must be tenured K-12 teachers in the Hartford Public Schools system. They must exhibit exemplary teaching skills, show commitment to the belief that all children can learn and must be active in community and humanitarian affairs. Last year’s winner was Gary Lotreck, an English teacher at Classical Magnet School. (Mr. Lotreck is currently the theme coach at High School, Inc.)

Those interested in purchasing tickets to the 2017 Teacher of the Year Banquet can do so online at:


Here are this year’s nominees in alphabetical order:

Melissa Anderson – Burns Latino Studies Academy

Dennis Annicelli – SAND School

Marci Ashley – L. W. Batchelder School

Virginia Bendig – M.D. Fox School

Elizabeth Benfield – University High School of Science & Engineering

Caitlin Bexley – Museum Academy at Wish

Yolanda Colón – Culinary Arts Academy at Weaver High School

William Conroy – McDonough Expeditionary Learning School (MELS)

Kristen Crawford – Expeditionary Learning Academy at Moylan School (ELAMS)

Kimberly Daly – Betances STEM School

Melissa Dresko – Breakthrough Magnet School

James Goldman – Sarah J. Rawson School

Jane Grahn – Early Reading Lab at Betances School

Robin Green-Liddell – New Visions

Amybeth Gustavson – Pathways Academy of Technology & Design

Susan Hanjian – Dr. Joseph S. Renzulli Gifted & Talented Academy

Linda Henriques – Noah Webster MicroSociety Magnet School

Graciela Irizarry – Asian Studies Academy at Bellizzi

Katelin Jacobs – Breakthrough II Magnet School

Susan Johnston – Journalism & Media Academy

Deena Jud – Hartford PreK Magnet School

Barbara Kiczuk – Alfred E. Burr School

Danielle Knobloch – Bulkeley Teacher Prep & Humanities School

Violetta Kovaci – Law and Government Academy at HPHS

Jared Lewis – Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy (HMTCA)

Lauren Lieberman – E.B. Kennelly School

Maureen Lozinski – María C. Colón Sánchez Elementary School

Patrick Mairson – Parkville Community School

Jennifer Merritt – Thirman L. Milner School

Barbara Michelson – Dr. James H Naylor/CCSU Leadership Academy

Janet Muldoon-Ellsworth – Academy of Engineering & Green Technology at HPHS

Maria Nelson – Environmental Sciences Magnet School at Mary Hooker

Lawrence Nevins – R.J. Kinsella Magnet School of Performing Arts

Avi Ornstein – Classical Magnet School

Doris Paluso-Davanzo – Great Path Academy at Manchester Community College

Alden Paye – Global Communications Academy (IB)

Krycia Rybczyk – High School, Inc.

Elizabeth Slot – Academy of Nursing & Health Sciences at HPHS

Trisha Sullivan – Martin Luther King Jr. School

Sonia Turner – Annie Fisher STEM Magnet School

Melanie Zamorski – Sport & Medical Sciences Academy (SMSA)