STAMFORD, Conn. -- The Stamford teacher of the year, who teaches fourth grade at Springdale Elementary, said he was “humbled” in getting the award.
“I am very humbled. Anytime you are up for an award and you win it, I think it is recognition for a job well done,” Jimmy Sapia said Thursday before the awards ceremony held at the University of Connecticut campus in Stamford.
His principal, Anne Downey, praised Sapia for his enthusiasm in leading and helping his students.
“Jimmy is one of the most creative, passionate teachers I have ever worked with,” she said. “It is a very caring community in his classroom.”
Sapia said he was unaware that he was nominated by three fellow Grade 4 teachers at the school, Michelle Davis, Kim Cassette, and Tracy Winn.
Sapia, a Norwalk native, began his career as a substitute teacher with the district’s KT Murphy School. He earned his bachelor of science degree in Electronic Media/Communications from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C., and a master’s degree with K-6 certification and an administrative degree from the University of Bridgeport.
He said he believes part of the award was in recognition of his use of technology in the classroom, or what he called “purposeful technology integration,” that enables the best education experience for his students.
Teacher of the Year and Spotlight on a Teacher Award recipients are nominated in January, and a committee gradually cuts that down to the top 26. Six of the nominees were selected for Teacher of the Year consideration while the other 20 received the Spotlight Award.
Also honored at the event were teacher of the year finalists: Emily Korn, a Cloonan Middle School science teacher, and Isaac Odoom, a Stamford High School mathematics teacher.
Three teacher of the year nominees were also honored: Lawrence Keller, an AITE business technology teacher, Desiree Ronaghan, a Northeast Elementary School kindergarten teacher, and Deb Wilson, a Turn of River Middle School English teacher.
The Spotlight winners are:
- Kristen Baldovin, Grade 4, Northeast Elementary School;
- Carolyn Beck, Grade 3, Stillmeadow Elementary School;
- Susan Cassidy, Grade 1, KT Murphy;
- Krista Deiana, English language arts, Stamford High School;
- Andrijana Dordjevic, Grade 5 special education, Davenport Middle School;
- Tony Esposito, physical education, Turn of River Middle School;
- Joe Lennon, Grade 8 science, Turn of River;
- Ashley Lowney, Grade 3, Davenport Ridge Elementary School;
- Robert Lutz, English language arts, Stamford High School;
- Lauryn Margerum, Grade 4, Northeast Elementary School;
- Mark Martini, art, Hart Elementary School;
- Amy Ofiero, autism spectrum disorder, Roxbury Elementary School;
- Dana Origi, Grade 4, Northeast Elementary School;
- Jon Ringel, English language arts, Stamford High School;
- Michele Sabia, curriculum associate, APPLES;
- Cathy Sibirzeff, Grade 7, English language arts, Cloonan Middle School;
- Mary Smith, Grade 4, Northeast Elementary School;
- Norma Stella, Grade 2, Northeast Elementary School;
- Ellen Suarino, Grade 4, Northeast; and
- Wendy Wade, Stamford High.