NHPS Teacher of the Year Tim Shortt

Educator of 12 years demonstrates superior leadership and student engagement
NEW HAVEN – New Haven Public Schools is excited to announce its 2015 Teacher of the Year, Tim Shortt. He will be honored at the CT Teacher of the Year Ceremony on Tuesday, December 2, 2014, at the Bushnell Performing Arts Center in Hartford. Shortt, a 2nd grade teacher at Worthington Hooker School, works tirelessly to push students to achieve their highest potential. In addition to his role as teacher, he is a respected mentor, coach, and expert in literacy throughout the state. He is also member of Worthington Hooker’s Building Leadership Team and School Planning Management Team.
Inspired by his relationship with his kids, Patrick and Liam, and the endless encouragement of his wife, Mary Ann Shortt, he made a career change and took a pay cut to become a teacher. Shortt is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree at Southern Connecticut State University in addition to his teaching. Shortt teaches that in life you are going to make mistakes and he says to his kids, “We are going to do things that are hard but we can get through hard things.” One of his students wrote him a card stating, “You made things that we thought were hard fun!”
Shortt said he is humbled by this honor in light of the many teachers deserving of this recognition. He believes that “a great teacher constantly strives, refines, crafts and creates. A great teacher knows that teaching is a complex art and science.” His mission as an educator is “to with personalities and get to know the kids on a deep level.” Shortt connects with his students by remaining transparent and acknowledging when he also makes mistakes. With the ability to “read their moods,” Shortt uses his sense of humor to “guide them to discover their strengths and challenge their weaknesses.” He teaches them to not overcomplicate situations and to laugh at their mistakes after a lesson is learned.
Shortt wants his classroom to be a place where students can feel comfortable to engage and express their thoughts. Shortt spent six years working at Timothy Dwight Elementary School before transitioning to Worthington Hooker School. He believes the key to the success of an educator is to understand that “children are human beings with emotions, needs, desires, and need to feel valued.” He mentioned that, “a great teacher is thorough in his planning and flexible enough to take advantage of the magical moments that occur naturally.” Last year, as part of a yearlong integrated global unit of study, Shortt’s students Skyped with science experts like underwater scientist Philippe Cousteau in his under the sea laboratory, which engaged the students’ interest and made science enjoyable for the students.  This year’s focus will be climate change and global citizenship.
Seven outstanding teachers came in as runners up for the award this year: Rosalie Carr (Grade 1 – Fair Haven School), Jane Limauro (PreK-4– Jepson Magnet School), Justyne Nuzzo (History/Social Studies – Sound School), Elizabeth Warren (Integrated Language Arts – Beecher School), Lorna Edwards (English Grades 5/8 – Betsy Ross Arts Magnet School), Michael Halloran (Mathematics- Cooperative Arts and Humanities) and Thomas Mitchell (Grade 5- Clinton Ave. School).
One of the district’s nationally recognized School Change Initiative priorities is educator talent. In efforts to develop and recognize our high quality teachers the district has implemented TEVAL, an evaluation system which cultivates a culture of professional excellence that supports growth and collaboration among staff. This year’s Teacher of the Year award was selected by looking at teachers who have an exemplary rating in TEVAl and have been through the verification process.
“I congratulate Mr. Shortt and all of the teachers who inspire their students. Fully engaged classroom teachers make a critical difference in helping our students achieve success. Mr. Shortt epitomizes the dedication, talent and leadership needed to make the students feel valued and help them rise to success,” said Garth Harries, Superintendent of Schools.