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School District Names John Girard Teacher of the Year

posted Jun 4, 2010, 5:06 AM by   [ updated Feb 2, 2011, 8:14 AM ]

Plainville Community Schools has named Plainville High School Science Teacher John Girard the 2010-2011 Teacher of the Year. Girard was nominated by fellow high school science instructors Cheryl Hathaway and Ken Fusco. "John is the epitome of a great teacher. He is extremely knowledgeable, and is always thinking about the best for the students. He has pioneered the AP sciences, has instituted the National Science Honor Society, and is the advisor to the Biomedical Club. I am very proud to have John represent the teachers of Plainville this year. I can think of no one who deserves the honor more. We are lucky to have a teacher of his caliber here at the high school and here in Plainville," said Fusco.

Girard has been an educator for ten years, serving as a science teacher at Plainville High School for the past five years, where he has taught Advanced Placement Biology, Anatomy, Physiology, Pathophysiology, Vertebrate Zoology, Anthropology, and Biology. Contributions by Girard to the teaching profession over the past several years include the creation of the Advanced Placement Biology course, leading professional development workshops, serving as a mentor for new teachers, and creating / facilitating a Science CAPT review for all sophomore students. In addition to teaching, Girard has served as the freshman basketball coach, and is the advisor to the high school's Bio-Medical Club. In addition, he is the clinical instructor of phlebotomy at Bristol Hospital, a medical technologist, Cub Master and Den Leader for Pack 432 in Bristol, and a basketball, baseball, and soccer coach for various youth teams in Bristol.

When asked about his philosophy of teaching, Girard noted, "My philosophy of education commences with my profound belief that all children can and do learn well if learning is fun. The age old statement, "It takes a village to raise a child" merits worth. I think learning is fostered by a nurturing community with upstanding role models. I strongly feel that all classrooms should be dynamic extensions of the greater community where empathy, kindness, honesty, and acceptance of the uniqueness in each individual are the norm."

As Teacher of the Year in Plainville, Girard will also participate as a candidate for Connecticut's 2011 Teacher of the Year Program. Each district Teacher of the Year will be individually recognized at an awards ceremony later this year hosted by the Connecticut Department of Education.

"John is an awesome teacher who has inspired confidence in many students and encouraged them to raise their aspirations regarding careers in science," commented Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Kathleen Binkowski.

Girard, a Bristol resident, holds both a bachelor of science degree and a master of science degree from Central Connecticut State University. He will be honored at the June 14 Plainville Board of Education meeting.