The Milford Central Academy Teacher of the Year for 2012-2013 went to eighth grade science teacher Mrs. Heather Fitzgerald. Mrs. Fitzgerald has been teaching science for eight years, all in the Milford School District. During her first five years at Milford Middle School, she taught sixth, seventh and eighth grade for three years and has focused on sixth grade for the remaining two years. For the next three years she worked at the new Milford Central Academy, teaching just eighth grade.
“My favorite thing about teaching is when the kids come back and tell me that they recognize the science they learn about in the real world,” Mrs. Fitzgerald said.
When Mrs. Fitzgerald moved from the middle school to the academy, she taught the kids that she had as sixth graders, for the first two years.
“It was cool to see them again, see them grow up, and relate what we learned in sixth grade to what we were currently learning,” she said.
As a science teacher, Mrs. Fitzgerald teaches many lessons, but enjoys her favorite subject of physics, especially when it is linked to her unit on energy and the labs that she uses to teach it.
“When I was in college, I would sit in class and think of ways to make students more interested, make it better and easier for them to understand,” commented Mrs. Fitzgerald. That was also what sparked the beginning of a teaching career for her, she added.
To qualify for the honor, teachers must have positive evaluations by their principals on file and must be teaching for a minimum of five years in the district. Two votes takes place for Teacher of the Year, an initial vote where all teachers can vote for any teacher eligible and a second vote on the top three vote-getters from the first round. The top three academy candidates for this year also included Miss Erin Williams and Mr. Nick Brannan.
“I definitely think she deserves it,” said Williams, a freshman English teacher. “She works very hard for her students.”