Celentano Teacher Wins NBC News Essay Contest

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, September 16, 2011
 
 
 
CONTACT:
Christopher Hoffman
203-946-8450
 
 
 
 
CELENTANO MUSEUM ACADEMY TEACHER WINS NATIONAL NBC NEWS ESSAY CONTEST, WILL ATTEND MSNBC TEACHER TOWN HALL
 
 
Celentano Museum Academy language arts teacher Matt Presser is one of three national winners of NBC News’ “Education Nation” essay contest.
 
 
NBC will pay for Matt to travel to New York to be in the audience for MSNBC’s live Teacher Town Hall telecast on Sunday, September 25. NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams will host the program.
 
 
Matt’s winning essay will be published that day on Education Nation’s “Learning Curve” blog that day.
 
Education Nation is NBC News' initiative to engage the country in a solutions-focused conversation about the state of education in America.
 
In his essay, Matt, who teaches 7th and 8th grade, likens his students to superheroes as they fight to overcome adversity, learn and better themselves.
 
“To everyone out there waiting for Superman to save education, some good news: I’ve found him,” Matt’s essay begins. “Wonder Woman too. They sit in the back of my language arts class.”
 
Matt, who just began his second year as a teacher, goes on to describe the challenges that “Superman” and “Wonder Woman” face and pay tribute to their “pursuit of justice, their nascent awareness of where they fit in the world, and their commitment to achieving futures where they’ve realized their dreams.”
 
Matt said that he decided to write the essay during the recent hurricane when he had no power and nothing to do.
 
Celentano Principal Keisha Hannans said that the school is very proud of Matt.
 
“Matt Presser is an excellent teacher who is passionate about helping students to achieve their maximum potential,” Hannans said. “He’s a valuable asset to the students he teaches as well as the entire student body. We are proud to have him at Celentano and of his accomplishments.”
 
Matt is originally from Fort Lauderdale, Fl. and came to New Haven to study at Yale. After obtaining his Master’s Degree, he decided to stay and teach in the New Haven Public Schools.
 
“Something clicked in my mind when students have that ‘Aha!’ moment,” Matt said of his decision to teach. “I wanted that.”
 
Click to read Matt's essay
 
Click to view NBC30 story
 
Click to read New Haven Register story