Teacher of the Year honored at Board of Ed meeting

Oct. 10, 2012
Abbe Smith
NHPS Director of Communications
David Low, a teacher at Sound School, has been selected as the New Haven Public Schools Teacher of the Year.  He will be honored by the Board of Education in the fall.
Low is the second NHPS Teacher of the Year selected since the district implemented its nationally recognized teacher evaluation system. The New York Times editorial page and many others have praised the system, which has become a model for other cities and various states, including Connecticut.
Under the system, teachers receive rankings from “1” (the lowest, needs improvement) to “5” (the highest, exemplary).  Low was one of four finalists, all rated exemplary, for 2012-13 Teacher of the Year.
Low has been an Ocean Engineering/Math/Physics teacher at Sound school since 1998. He was selected from over 160 applicants to serve as a member of the inaugural two-year class of twenty-one fellows in the Aspen Institute’s Teacher Leader Fellowship Program. He is the founder of Educators for Progress, Innovation & Collaboration (EPIC) Forum, which is a professional learning community of 50+ progressive K-12 educators interested in improving their practice and promoting change within the public schools. As the Vice President for High Schools & School Reform and Executive board member of the New Haven Federation of Teachers, Low has chaired the Teachers’ Working Group for School Reform.
“David Low applies his ocean engineering skills to his work as a teacher and a leader:  he plumbs the depths of issues, analyzes potential solutions and doesn’t come up for air until there is a resolution – or a path forward to success,” noted Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo.  “His clear articulation and passion about his students and his profession have been woven into our School Change Initiative.  David is an inspiration to us all.”
“I am honored and humbled. It is too bad we can only choose one teacher of the year because of all the amazing work that is done across the district,” David Low said.
Assistant Superintendent of Schools Imma Canelli said, “David Low works tirelessly to ensure that teachers bring innovation to the classroom and make learning an enjoyable experience for all students.  Congratulations and best of luck in the State Teacher of the Year competition.”
Runners up were Michele Bonanno, a social studies teacher at Ross Woodward Classical Studies Magnet School, Rosalie Carr, who teaches first grade at Fair Haven K-8 School, and Erica McDaniel, a fourth-grade teacher at Conte West Hills School.
“I would like to congratulate all of the nominees for this year’s Teacher of the Year.  They have all been rated as Exemplary teachers in our new Teacher Evaluation System and they truly are exemplary both in the classroom and in the community.  It is very rewarding to have such an outstanding group of teachers in the New Haven Public School system,” said Assistant Superintendent of Schools Imma Canelli. 
Bonanno is a graduate of the New Haven Public Schools and has been teaching social studies at Ross Woodward Classical Studies Magnet School since 2007.  She is a STEM mentor for the Connecticut Pre-Engineering Program (CPEP). She is also serving as a teacher representative to the NHPS Redistricting Committee and the School Climate Survey Committee.
Carr has been a teacher in the New Haven Public Schools since 2003.  She began as a kindergarten teacher at Nathan Hale before transferring to Fair Haven in 2008.  In addition to her duties as a grade 1 teacher at Fair Haven Rosalie serves as advisor for the 7th and 8th grade. She supports her colleagues as a TEAM mentor and Cooperating teacher. Her classroom has served as a model classroom for visitation for the district.
McDaniel has been a teacher in the New Haven Public Schools since 2005. She taught third grade at Katherine Brennan until 2010 when she transferred to Conte West Hills Magnet School to teach fourth grade. At Conte West Hills Erica has served as a member of the School Culture Committee. She is also a teacher representative on the Teacher Quality Committee of the District Data Team and an Executive board member of the New Haven Federation of Teachers.
Dr. Mayo said, “Congratulations to one and all.  I am proud of our teachers and grateful to them for all that they do on behalf of our students and their achievement.”