Hall of Fame Proposed for North Andover Teachers
By Drake Lucas, The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass.
Jul. 1–NORTH ANDOVER — Almost everyone has a favorite teacher. It might be the first-grade teacher who instilled a love of reading or a seventh-grade teacher who made science come alive. They are teachers who opened the students’ eyes, made them think differently about the world and made them try harder to do well.
School Committee member Charles Ormsby said those teachers do not get the recognition they deserve. He is proposing the establishment of an Educator Hall of Fame to honor outstanding teachers for their contribution to learning in North Andover.
“We have dedicated sports facilities to coaches and people heavily involved in supporting sports,” Ormsby said. “It occurred to me that our number one mission is education, not sports. We don’t have anything similar on the education side.”
The idea Ormsby proposed, which will be discussed at the School Committee meeting in August, would allow School Committee members to nominate teachers who have been retired for at least five years and who spent the majority of their career in North Andover. Ormsby said the honor should be given to those who had high expectations, encouraged students to reach those expectations, were excellent role models for students and who raised academic standards.
In recognition of selected teachers, a room that is somehow related to their work would be dedicated to them with a plaque. A plaque in the entryway of each school will list which rooms are dedicated and to which teachers.
Ormsby said the specifics of the award are still up for discussion. He said five years of retirement should be long enough for people to evaluate someone’s contribution without political influence. He also proposed having a super majority approve any of the inductees, which would be a vote of at least four out of five School Committee members.
“These should not be controversial,” he said. “It should be unanimous.”
Ormsby said the idea is to remember the truly outstanding teachers. He suggested having, at the most, one entry per year, but he said some years the award may not be given at all. The award would not be limited to teachers, although Ormsby said teaching should be the focus even if a teacher goes on to be an administrator.
“We should honor those who have made major contributions to the academic excellence in our schools,” he said.
Proposed requirements for Educator Hall of Fame:
r Retired from teaching for at least five years.
r Majority of career in North Andover.
r Consistently set high standards.
r Effective in encouraging students to achieve those standards.
r Led students to achieve more than they thought possible.
r Was a leader in raising academic standards either across the district or school.
r Was a role model for students and staff.
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