Teacher of the Year: Christina McKirryher
Can you believe it! Southington schools opens this Thursday, September 1st and it’s a full day session!
Just a few days ago the Southington School District presented its annual Staff Convocation of teachers, staff and administrators from all our schools. Always exciting, often surprisingly delightful, the program has become a major event for our community’s educators. A high point of the Convocation was the introduction and recognition of this year’s Southington Teacher of the Year 2016-2017, Christina McKirryher, an extraordinary first grade teacher at the Plantsville Elementary School.
Southington Teacher of the Year
Christina and her husband of seven years, Jeff, reside in Naugatuck with their three children, Jack, Declan, and Griffin. McKirryher, a teacher in Southington for the past six years, was originally hired in November 2009 as a literacy tutor at Strong Elementary School. In August 2010, she was transferred to PES as a Kindergarten teacher. A year later, Christina was assigned to teach first grade. Superintendent Timothy Connellan stated that (McKirryher) believes “every child deserves to learn in an environment that focuses on student achievement while meeting the needs of every child.”
Christina earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in 2007 at the University of Connecticut. In 2008, she earned a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education with a cross endorsement of Business Education at the University of Bridgeport. Currently, she’s working on a Sixth Year Degree and Certification in Educational Leadership at Central Connecticut State University. Christina is a passionate advocate for teaching and learning and an inspiration to others. Apart from her first grade instruction, she serves on the School Safety and Security Committee and the Responsive Classroom Committee. Having worked with McKirryher for two years, PES Principal, Steve Bergin, said: “She’s an excellent example of our great teaching in Southington. Her practice of instruction is at a rigorously high level. She goes out of her way for the school and in the community and absolutely deserves the award.”
McKirryher has proactively served as the STEPS coalition representative at PES. In that role, she organized a Taste of Plantsville night allowing families to showcase their cultures. At PES she also created the S.T.A.R.S. program recognizing students for character traits and has organized field trips, literacy nights for students in kindergarten through second grade, and a ‘Read Across America’ day.
Observing much of her work at PES during the past year, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Steve Madancy, said: “Her leadership and commitment to the STEPS Asset Building Classrooms and Celebrations of Excellence, bringing the school community together to celebrate the achievements of students have been remarkably effective. Christina’s compassion is for the whole child.”
This year’s TOTY Coordinator, Chris Palmieri, (Vice Principal at DePaolo M.S.), explained the selection process for each year’s nominee. “A committee of teachers representing all Southington schools, elementary, middle and high school, reviews the names of those proposed in an open nominating system. Nominees are asked to complete the application form used by the State of Connecticut for uniformity of data from all districts. The local teachers’ committee reviews all candidates and makes the final selection. The application forms of each District’s TOTY are forwarded to the State for its selection of Connecticut TOTY.
“While we select only one, the process and the recognition is a great tribute to all of our Southington teachers who do such a phenomenal job.”, Palmieri said.
Congratulations, Christina McKirryher and thank you for your outstanding service to our Southington children!
Tag: Southington Citizen columnist and freelance writer Dick Fortunato welcomes comments at firstname.lastname@example.org