John F. Mastroianni, a music teacher at William H. Hall High School in West Hartford, Connecticut, has been chosen as 2014 Connecticut Teacher of the Year. His is now under consideration for National Teacher of the Year.
West Hartford Public Schools superintendent, Karen L. List called band director Mastroianni “an extraordinary man, musician, and teacher.”
“Evidence of exceptional teaching is demonstrated when students can teach each other and perform without their teacher. Mr. M. develops such learners. He helps students achieve beyond what they think possible,” List said in a statement. His selection was announced on October 8 .
Mastroianni was chosen from four finalists, 15 semi-finalists and more than 100 district-level teachers of the year. He is a member of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).
“After watching him with his students and interviewing parents, school staff, and students, the selection committee was in awe. We knew he would be an outstanding representative for Connecticut’s teachers,” Richard C. Brown, vice president of the Connecticut Teacher of the Year Council, said in a statement.
One of Mastroianni’s students, Hall Student Association President Ethan Swain, told the Hartford Courant, that Mastroianni he treats all of his students “with respect, kindness and compassion…You have not only taught us to be better musicians, Mr. Mastroianni, but you have taught us to be better people,” he said.
In a ceremony televised by WTNH-TV in New Haven, Connecticut, Mastroianni said, “I walk in here every day to an amazing school and teach the greatest kids in the world, and then on the weekends or at night, I go out and play with amazing musicians.” A saxophonist, he is a band director at Hall.
A formal ceremony will be held at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford on Nov. 19.
Mastroianni is the second music teacher named a 2014 State Teacher of the Year. Peter Markes, a string and Advanced Placement teacher from Edmond North High School has been named the 2014 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year. Markes is also a NAfME member. The National Teacher of the Year will be announced in Spring, 2014 in a ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC.
Roz Fehr, NAfME Managing Editor for News, October 10, 2013. © National Association for Music Education