Teacher of the Year 2016

Teacher of the Year 2015-2016
Posted on 07/14/2015
Teacher of the Year


Dear colleagues,


It is with great pleasure that I announce Mr. Matthew Saccoman as the Watertown Public Schools 2015-2016 Teacher of the Year. Mr. Saccoman has worked as a special education teacher in our district for eleven years, and is currently the S.H.A.P.E. (Self Help and Personal Enrichment) teacher at Watertown High School.


As is the case every year, the committee had a difficult time choosing just one teacher from a pool of very well-qualified nominees; ultimately, Mr. Saccoman was selected as a result of the intensive work that he accomplishes with both students on his caseload and those in his SHAPE classes. The members of the committee were most impressed by the student-focused, genuine nature of Matt’s comments.  He provided specific examples of students’ successes in his classes; these examples demonstrated Matt’s thoughtful instruction and individualized planning for each student.  Committee members felt the culminating activity that Matt has designed for SHAPE, where students reflect upon and explain publicly their own life stories, shows his understanding that developing students’ voices is indeed one of the most valuable outcomes of public education.  Importantly, he exercises both humility and kindness in all of his interactions with students, fellow staff members, and families.


I would also like to congratulate the other seven nominees in this year’s pool: Rebecca Borbas, instrumental Music teacher at Polk, Judson, and Swift; Patricia Chipko, grade 3 teacher at Judson; Elisha Gesseck, grade 6 Language Arts teacher at Swift; Colleen Haberern, grade 7 Mathematics teacher at Swift; Dorothy Rinaldi, grade 4 teacher at Polk; Janet Sweetland, grade 6 Science teacher at Swift; and Alyssa Wallace, grade 8 Language Arts teacher at Swift.


The teacher of the year process serves as a celebration of the efforts of all of our faculty members, whose work is represented by the nominees and the eventual district winner.  Please join me in honoring all of our nominees and Mr. Saccoman.  He now moves forward to compete for the prestigious Connecticut Teacher of the Year title: I truly believe he has an excellent chance in bringing that honor home to Watertown Public Schools.




B. Heston Carnemolla, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Watertown, Connecticut