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NPS honors educators, advertises free food program for Kendall and Tracey

Norwalk High School science teacher Glenn Couture, left; West Rocks Middle School paraeducator Doniashay Tyner, right. (Norwalk Public Schools)

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk Public Schools has announced the following news items:

  • NHS STEM teacher Couture named NPS Teacher of the Year
  • WRMS’s Tyner named Norwalk Paraeducator of the Year
  • It’s free: breakfast and lunch available to Kendall and Tracey students this year

 

‘Tireless dedication’

A science teacher with nearly three decades of experience in the Norwalk High School (NHS) community has been named Norwalk Public Schools Teacher of the Year, according to a press release. Glenn Couture will represent Norwalk Public School teachers in Connecticut’s 2020 Teacher of the Year program, which celebrates excellence in public education.

“Glenn’s tireless dedication to our school and students is unwavering. Both former and current students have been inspired to pursue careers with ties to both science and the arts, a testament to his ability to inspire lifelong learning,” Norwalk High School Principal Reginald Roberts is quoted as saying.

Couture has taught physics, Honors Physics, AP Physics, chemistry, forensics and physical science during his 29-year NHS career. “Couture is known for helping students understand subject matter from a historical and cultural perspective,” the release said. “His creative labs and demonstrations help to develop the students’ ability to effectively use scientific equipment while creating a positive, creative and enjoyable learning environment. These skills inspire students to be able to problem solve in the global community.”

Every January, students complete a catapult project, using Next Generation Science Standards to create a device capable of launching a projectile into specified targets. “Over the years, the catapults have varied greatly,” said Couture in the release. “The same is true about my students and the way they grow as learners. My goal is to provide students with the skills they need to collaborate, share ideas, think critically, problem solve and support one another. I am pleased to be honored as Norwalk Teacher of The Year as I continue to prepare my students for life beyond NHS.”

The release said:

“While Couture is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and HOT (Higher Order Thinking) trained, his influence extends to the entire school community with his ability to bridge science and the arts. Since joining NHS, Couture has played an integral role in yearly musical performances including the popular annual Candlelight holiday concert.

“Last year he led and directed The Addams Family musical at the high school.

“As an active member of the school community, Couture participates in multiple fundraising events including Bears Beating Cancer, St. Baldrick’s, senior/junior fashion shows, talent shows, and dodgeball tournaments.

“Known as a true team player among colleagues, Couture is a mentor and teacher to both students and teachers alike. Over the years, Couture has trained more than 200 adult teacher candidates throughout the state through Connecticut Alternate Route to Certification Program as the lead methods instructor for the Physical Sciences. Additionally, he was one of three representatives chosen from Connecticut to attend Research Teachers Conference in Washington DC in 2017.

“He was also a part of a University of Bridgeport Strategy Initiative on challenges of teaching physics in high-need high schools in CT, and the recruitment of teachers in the areas of STEM.

“Couture’s selection follows his recognition at the annual Norwalk Excellence in Education awards. Educators were nominated by their peers and endorsed by each School Governance Council, making them eligible to be considered for recognition as Norwalk’s Teacher of the Year. Couture follows Norwalk Teacher of The Year recipients Dr. Robert Seferian (2017) and Rosemary Holomakoff (2018).

“Like Norwalk’s Excellence in Education recognition, the Connecticut Teacher of the Year initiative aims to recognize and honor teaching excellence. It does not attempt to select the ‘best’ teacher, but looks to celebrate what is best in the profession. Nominees from each district are invited to an annual banquet held in Hartford in December, where more than 1,000 attendees gather to celebrate teaching in Connecticut. The teacher selected as the 2020 Connecticut Teacher of the Year then moves on to the national program.”

 

‘Dedication…inside and outside the classroom’

“West Rocks Middle School’s Doniashay Tyner has been named Norwalk Paraeducator of the Year. Ms. Tyner was chosen for her dedication to both students, teachers and parents both inside and outside of the classroom,” a press release said.

“Ms. Tyner has been an exemplary model in our school for how best to support students with special needs,” West Rocks Principal Adam Reynolds is quoted as saying. “Doniashay’s kind and caring personality is well known in our community, and we are fortunate to have her skills and dedication as part of the West Rocks Middle School family.”

Tyner assists teachers in the classroom and helps implement students’ Individual Education Plans (IEPs). She is recognized in the school community for her communication skills and her ability to form meaningful relationships with students and parents, responding to challenging situations with kindness, the release said.

“She connects with students by telling them funny stories and having a ‘hee haa’ moment with them, while creating a relationship of mutual respect and focusing on getting the work done,” the release said. “Ms. Tyner has been known to eat lunch with students, jump rope, shoot hoops and even toss a football around. By meeting students in their environment, she has had success bringing high needs and mainstream students together.”

Tyner’s first role with NPS was as a special education paraeducator at Naramake Elementary School, in 2002, according to the release. She has also held summer positions at PF Camp and Norwalk Recreation and Parks, and worked at Nathan Hale before joining West Rocks in 2007. Before joining the school system, she worked in the healthcare industry as an office manager for a home health agency and spent 14 years as an in-home support employee, trained through the State of Connecticut Department of Developmental Services.

The release said:

“Nominated by staff members and selected by the WRMS School Governance Council, Ms. Tyner was honored along with others throughout the district with an Excellence in Educational Support Award this spring. The Educational Support Awards were designed to honor staff members who have earned the respect and admiration of students, teachers, administrators, co-workers and parents.

“On behalf of all Norwalk paraeducators, Ms. Tyner will continue on to the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) and the School Paraprofessional Advisory Council Paraeducator of the Year program. The program was established in honor of Anne Marie Murphy, a paraeducator who lost her life at Sandy Hook, and recognizes the important role of the paraeducator in supporting student achievement.”

 

 

 

Breakfast and lunch to be provided at no charge, no questions asked

Breakfast and lunch will be provided at no charge to all Kendall and Tracey Elementary School students in 2019-2020, because Norwalk Public Schools is participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) as part of the National School Lunch Program, a press release said.

Families do not need to show their income eligibility for the free and reduced lunch programs at these schools, thanks to the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and National School Lunch Program (NSLP), according to NPS.

For more information contact Jill Kress, Executive Secretary, Food Services, Norwalk Public Schools, 352 Main Ave., Norwalk Conn. 06851, (203) 899 2990, [email protected] Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

4 comments

DT August 3, 2019 at 8:04 am

I’ve been in Norwalk for about 10 years….and I have a question:
Are Tracey and Kendall in low-income areas? The neighborhood around . Tracey School seems far from needy to me. There are many really nice homes nearby. What am I missing?
I don’t know much about where Kendall School is….but isn’t it pretty far away from South Norwalk? Aren’t we talking some nkce neighborhhod streets in West Norwalk here?
How have the schools become such low-income, “minority is the majority” free lunch and breakfast schools?

Fran Di Meglio August 3, 2019 at 11:42 am

Congratulations to both – I do not know Ms. Tyner. Glenn is one in a million. His enthusiasm alone will win you over and the Norwalk school system is very fortunate to have him!

Itsjustme August 4, 2019 at 9:25 am

@DT
The truth is missed by many. Yes, there are some very nice homes in the Tracey area. Vast majority are owned by people whose children are now out of Tracey. When school starts, Park your car in school street and see who is attending today. Furthermore, if you really want to see the real story, watch someone pick up kids and drive to their home in Bridgeport. In 2000, my taxes were $2500. Now they push $10k a year yet our schools are worse. Must be all the bad teachers.

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