Massachusetts educators honored

Several current and former MTA members were recognized recently for their excellent work in the classroom.

Three of the 10 educators honored are math and science teachers who were named finalists for the 2007 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The other five honorees received the 2007 Massachusetts AANE Awards for Excellence in Teaching Students with Asperger Syndrome.

The Presidential Awards program was established in 1983 by The White House and is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. In each state and U.S. jurisdiction, one award goes to a math teacher and one to a science teacher. They are given to kindergarten-through-grade-six teachers in even-numbered years and teachers of grades seven through 12 in odd-numbered years. The winners will be announced later this spring.

This year’s Presidential Award finalists from MTA schools are:

  • Catherine Cabral, a math teacher at Somerset High School.
  • Janet Duffy, a longtime biology teacher at Hingham High School. Duffy is now serving as the district’s director of science.
  • Kathleen Shea, a former chemistry  teacher at Nipmuc Regional High School in Upton. Shea is now working in the Milford Public Schools as the curriculum supervisor for math and science. 
  • Sean Walker, a math and science teacher at Memorial Middle School in Fitchburg.

The AANE Awards are sponsored and given by the Asperger’s Association of New England’s Educators’ Advisory Group. The educators are nominated by parents for helping their children succeed in school.

The MTA members honored with the AANE Award are:

  • Laurie DiBella, a classroom teaching assistant at the Mitchell Elementary School in Needham.
  • Maura Forcier, a kindergarten teacher at the Heath School in Chestnut Hill.
  • Marissa Gumas, a math teacher at Blake Middle School in Medfield.
  • Barbara Newkirk, a  resource teacher at Lexington High School.
  • Jaclyn Quesnel, a guidance counselor at the Lura A. White School, in Shirley.
  • Arlene Shainker, a former inclusion specialist in the Northborough /Southborough Public Schools. She is now serving in the same district as assistant to the director of special education/student support services.