Pittsfield- State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield) is pleased to announce that on Thursday, June 21, 2007, Berkshire County resident KathyAnn Wannamaker-Voltoline, a teacher at Reid Middle School, will be honored at the State House for being chosen as a Semi-Finalist for the 2008 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Award by the Massachusetts Department of Education.
Ms. Voltoline has been recognized for her innovation and enthusiasm in the classroom. Senator Downing, a former student of Ms. Voltoline, notes that “keeping students engaged and motivated is a true skill. I had Ms. Voltoline in seventh grade - she was a fair teacher who tried to get everyone involved. She was energetic and set high expectations for all students and helped them achieve their goals. It is fitting that she be recognized for her hard work and dedication.”
Ms. Voltoline encourages Pittsfield students to set higher goals in education – a critical action step that has been identified in the Berkshire Compact For Higher Education (an action plan developed by a group of key Berkshire industry leaders who have identified steps towards creating a more competitive edge in the global economy).
In addition to having served Pittsfield schools as an English teacher for more than a decade, Ms. Voltoline has also worked as a Middle School Mentor since 2005, helping to steer new educators in their development by influencing their growth on both a personal and professional level. She has also served as Site Coordinator for Literacy Grant Development, a position that has allowed her to formally showcase her talents as a leader in the Pittsfield school system.
“In our current education system where complex teacher certification and MCAS scores have dominated the discussion, we are fortunate to have a teacher like KathyAnn Wannamaker-Voltoline who reminds us what effective classroom teaching truly encompasses,” said Downing. “Enthusiasm for the curriculum, dedication to helping your students and colleagues grow and a commitment to finding the path to each child’s potential is what it’s all about.”
The Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Program is administered by the Massachusetts Department of Education. Since 1960, the program annually has honored a Massachusetts teacher who exemplifies fine teaching in the Commonwealth. The purpose of the program is to select a teacher who is worthy of speaking for and energizing the teaching profession, and representing the positive contributions of all teachers statewide. The Massachusetts Teacher of the Year automatically becomes the state's candidate for the National Teacher of the Year Program.
KathyAnn Wannamaker-Voltoline is the second teacher from Berkshire County to make it to the Semi-Finals in the recent past. In 2002, Maureen P. Boino from Pittsfield High School also made it to the Semi-Finals round of the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Award.