Wednesday November 21, 2012
Jay Hoffman, a Technology Education teacher at Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School in South Burlington, was named as the 2013 Vermont Teacher of the Year by Education Deputy Commissioner John Fischer and State Board of Education (SBE) Chair Stephan Morse. The announcement was made at the beginning of the SBE meeting which was held at the school Tuesday.
“I am deeply honored and excited to receive such an award” Hoffman said. “At the same time I could not help to think; I teach with many of the Nation’s finest teachers in one of the top schools in the country. This honor could easily be given to any one of my colleagues. However, I am proud to carry the banner on behalf of all of us here in South Burlington and throughout the state of Vermont.”
As the 2013 Teacher of the Year, Hoffman will travel statewide visiting schools and working with teachers. In addition, he is Vermont’s candidate for the National Teacher of the Year award, sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers. Hoffman will travel to Washington, D.C. this spring for a reception at the White House, where he will meet the President.
The assembly included remarks by Hoffman, Deputy Commissioner Fischer, Chair Morse, FHTMS Principal Karsten Schlenter, and Superintendent David Young. Representatives from Senator Leahy’s, Senator Sander’s, Congressman Welch’s, and Mayor Weinberger’s offices, as well as past Teachers of the Year were present. Deb Lichtenfeld, representing Mayor Weinberger’s office offered a “hearty congratulations” on his behalf. His mother is a retired teacher and his wife is an educator as well, therefore, “he knows firsthand the sacrifice, you (Hoffman) and other teachers have made in order to make a difference in the lives of children and families...and how integral it is that the State continues to support your efforts to inspire our young citizens” Lichtenfeld said.
Assistant Superintendent Winton Goodrich said, “Jay Hoffman is an outstanding educator and professional. I first learned about the SBNN student news program that he directs when Jay and students presented at the Vermont Superintendents and School Boards Association Conference Showcase a decade ago. South Burlington middle school students are fortunate to learn important interview and video production skills from Mr. Hoffman.”
Hoffman, a resident of Burlington, has taught Technology Education at Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School since 1997. He received his Masters in Education from State University of New York at New Paltz in 1994, with a B.S. in Technology Education from State University of New York at Oswego in 1981. Hoffman was appointed to the Vermont Standards Board for Professional Educators (VSBPE) in 2012 by Governor Shumlin. He is actively involved in the Regional Education Technology Network (RETN), the Vermont Technology Association, Teen Lures Prevention, Comcast Cable, and the Vermont NEA. In 2002 Hoffman co-founded South Burlington Network News (SBNN), the middle school’s student-run news broadcast studio.
Two of Hoffman’s former students, Riya Patel and Neel Desai who are currently SB High School students added their perspectives at the award ceremony. “Over the years that I’ve known Mr. Hoffman, he honestly has astounded me. I’ve never seen a teacher so dedicated to what he does and I can say that the skills he has given me have carried me throughout high school and I know they will carry me for the rest of my life” Patel said. Desai echoed these sentiments and added, Hoffman “expects professional quality work from his students and that’s why many of the students are where they are today.”
“The greatest reward for me is to watch my students smile with satisfaction and amazement when they achieve their goals through hard work and perseverance,” he wrote in his application. Hoffman is known as an innovator and partners often with the community. “They (students) are learning to give back to their community through service projects in media. They have produced commercials for local non-profits, and have recently partnered with a 5th grade class at Shelburne Community School to provide iPads to our local elderly with limited mobility,” he said. “I continue to learn from my students and I am proud of their successes.”
“As an educator Jay has undergone an amazing transformation over the years,” said Principal Schlenter. “From being a traditional wood shop teacher to developing a multi-media lab with a state-of-the-art broadcasting program (SBNN) which has been featured on national television and in technology workshops, he allowed a group of students to develop a unique passion for the independent and purposeful use of multi-media as a communication tool.”
“I believe that these are the most exciting and transformational times to be an American public school educator,” Hoffman said. “Technology has a huge impact on the way teachers teach and the way students learn. Our national and state education officials are creating equity in learning across the states with the new Common Core standards and assessments that respect cultural differences as well as varied learning styles.”
Also honored were: alternate Jason Di Giulio, an English teacher at Canaan Memorial High School and finalist Susan Zeineth-Collins, an English Language Arts/Social Studies teacher at Montgomery Elementary.
CORRESPONDENT: Corey Burdick