New Haven Public Schools has named Zakiyyak Baker as the 2010 Teacher of the Year.

NEW HAVEN—New Haven Public Schools has named Zakiyyak Baker as the 2010 Teacher of the Year.  Baker serves as a social studies teacher at Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School, where she began her teaching career in 2006.
 
In addition to teaching social studies, Baker is active in Co-op’s after school programs.  She served as the Class of 2010’s faculty advisor, while also co-facilitating the school’s Sisterhood program, which assists female students in discussing topics of concern to young women.  For the 2010-2011 academic year, Baker has added the Hip-Hop Club to the list of after school activities she runs.  Before becoming a social studies teacher, she served as a theater instructor at Co-Op for four years.
 
In the classroom, Baker seeks to strike a balance between nurturing students and creating a rigorous academic environment.  “I want each student to understand that they are loved and valued as individuals, but at the same time be prepared for the ‘real world’ and all of its expectations,” Baker said.
 
Baker earned her B.S. in Sociology from Southern Connecticut State University and her M.S. in Education from the University of New Haven.
 
New Haven Public Schools named the following teachers as runners-up for the 2010 Teacher of the Year award:
 
Marilyn Ciarleglio has taught third grade at Clinton Avenue School since 2002.  Throughout her career at Clinton Avenue, Ciarleglio has served on various school-based committees including the School Planning and Management Team, the Student and Staff Support Team and the Wellness Team.  During the 2009-2010 academic year, she led the Third Grade Data Team and served as a teacher for the 21st Century After School Program. 
 
LaShante James is an English and reading teacher at Riverside Academy.  Since she began teaching at Riverside in 2004, James has been selected as the school’s Teacher of the Year three times by the student body.  During the 2009-2010 academic year, James served on the District’s English Language Arts Lead Teacher Team, where she brainstormed the implementation of ELA curriculum with her colleagues throughout the District. 
 
Brian Kelahan has taught history at Hyde Leadership Academy since 2001.  At Hyde, Kelahan is a member of the Building Leadership Team and the Building Data Team.  He is responsible for creating all student and teacher schedules, which has resulted in the addition of 16 new courses at the school as well as the inclusion of science laboratory periods.  For the past two years, Kelahan has also coordinated the administration of the CAPT testing in the school. 
 
“These honorees serve as an inspiration to both their students and their colleagues,” said Dr. Reginald Mayo, Superintendent of Schools. “They exemplify the high caliber of educators that the District seeks to cultivate and retain in our school system.  It is the dedication of teachers like these that will make New Haven the best urban school district in the country.”