Board of Ed Honors Teacher of the Year Deborah Wingreen

Monday, November 28, 2011
Christopher Hoffman
203-497-7015 (office)
203-721-3184 (cell)
The New Haven Board of Education today honored New Haven Public Schools (NHPS) Teacher of the Year Deborah Wingreen.
Wingreen, who was selected in June, teaches first grade-kindergarten at Benjamin Jepson School. She is a 20-year veteran of the New Haven Public Schools.
“I am honored. I am very humbled,” Wingreen said at the time of her selection. “All along, I’ve been very interested in children and the milestones that they go through.”
To inspire students, Wingreen, a literacy coach, is known to dress up as storybook characters, transforming herself into “Mrs. Wishy-Washy” with the aid of a few props.
Jepson Assistant Principal Leslie Stancarone called Wingreen “a gift to the children and their families.”
Assistant Superintendent of Schools Imma Canelli said that Wingreen was chosen not only for her outstanding teaching, but also her mentoring of colleagues.
Wingreen is the first NHPS Teacher of the Year selected since the district implemented its nationally recognized teacher evaluation system. The New York Times editorial page has praised the system, which was also the subject of a recent in-depth Education Week article.
Under the system, teachers receive rankings from   “1” (the lowest, needs improvement) to “5” (the highest, exemplary). Wingreen was one of four finalists, all rated exemplary, for 2011-12 Teacher of the Year.
“Deborah is an outstanding teacher who richly deserves the title Teacher of the Year,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo. “She serves as a shining role model for fellow teachers, mentoring them from good to great.
“Our new teacher evaluation system seeks to create more exemplary teachers like Deborah. We want to make average teachers good and good teachers great. Through outstanding teachers like Deborah, we seek to achieve our School Change goals of increasing test scores, reducing the dropout rate and preparing students to go to and graduate from college.”
Wingreen received her undergraduate degree from Southern Connecticut State University and also has a Master’s and sixth-year degree in education leadership. She has spent her entire career at NHPS, starting with student teaching at Conte-West Hills School. She taught for 15 years at Davis Street School before moving five years ago to Jepson.

Runners up were Ariana Buckley, an English teacher at Hyde School of Sciences and Sports Medicine; Matthew Erickson, who teaches science at Edgewood School and Karina Woltke, a science teacher at John C. Daniels School.
Buckley has taught at Hyde since 1994. She is chairwoman of the school’s Data Team and serves as its assistant basketball and track coaches. Outside of school, she is a longtime volunteer with Easter Seals.
Erickson has taught at Edgewood since 2008 and in the district since 1995. He was the 2009 Connecticut Science Teacher Association Middle School Teacher of the Year and won a 2011 TAPS award.
Woltke started in 2008 at John C. Daniels has worked for NHPS since 2004. She is a TEAM mentor and a winner of a 2011 TAPS award.  She runs the Bead for Life community service project, helping students sell hand-made Ugandan paper jewelry.
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