Phys. Ed. teacher Sue Scott wins Grinspoon award

  • Sue Scott, physical education teacher at three Pioneer Valley Regional School District schools, was given the Grinspoon Award for Excellence in Teaching during a ceremony Ton Jan. 26 at Warwick Community School. In addition to a certificate, her students also presented her with balloons and a hand-drawn congratulatory poster. RECORDER STAFF/SHELBY ASHLINE

  • Sue Scott, physical education teacher at three Pioneer Valley Regional School District schools, holds her Grinspoon Award for Excellence in Teaching following an award ceremony Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017 at Warwick Community School. In addition to the certificate, her students also presented her with balloons and a hand-drawn congratulatory poster. RECORDER STAFF/SHELBY ASHLINE Shelby Ashline—Recorder Staff/SHELBY ASHLINE

  • Sue Scott, physical education teacher at three Pioneer Valley Regional School District schools, plays parachute games with her class of kindergarten and first-grade students at Warwick Community School on Jan. 26. Scott is the winner of the 2017 Grinspoon Award for Excellence in Teaching. RECORDER STAFF/SHELBY ASHLINE

  • Sue Scott, physical education teacher at three Pioneer Valley Regional School District schools, plays parachute games with her class of kindergarten and first grade students at Warwick Community School on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. RECORDER STAFF/SHELBY ASHLINE Shelby Ashline—Recorder Staff/SHELBY ASHLINE

Recorder Staff
Published: 1/29/2017 11:18:29 PM

WARWICK — Surrounded by nearly 60 cheering children, physical education teacher Sue Scott beamed. She arrived at Warwick Community School Thursday afternoon to teach gym class, and was greeted with a surprise.

Scott, who has taught physical education for the past 11 years at Warwick Community School, Bernardston Elementary School and Pearl Rhodes Elementary School, received the 2017 Grinspoon Award for Excellence in Teaching.

The award, which is named for Springfield philanthropist Harold Grinspoon and sponsored in part by the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation, has recognized over 1,000 educators in Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden counties since 2004, according to the foundation’s website.

Given that one teacher is selected for up to 1,000 students in a school district, the Pioneer Valley Regional School District faculty and staff are able to select one award-winner each year. According to a Pioneer school district press release, the district participated in the award program for the first time last year, honoring Pioneer Band Director Nathan Holesovsky.

Scott was selected from five nominees, receiving praise from her colleagues for her enthusiasm, professionalism and her willingness to go above and beyond for her students, inside and outside of the classroom.

Reading from Scott’s nominations, Superintendent Ruth Miller praised Scott for “always thinking of new, creative units to keep her students engaged” and asking “questions of teachers about their students as learners, in order to provide the best experience for all.”

During a ceremony in the cafeteria, where Scott was presented with a certificate, balloons and a congratulatory poster hand-drawn by her students, three Warwick Community School students took the microphone to congratulate her.

“I could go on and on about you forever,” said sixth-grader Laura Kahler. “You deserve this award.”

According to the press release, the award also includes $500, an engraved plaque, two tickets to an awards dinner, a three-month membership to a local YMCA, a three-month membership to the Springfield Jewish Community Center, a special invitation by WGBY and a $100 grant to take a graduate course at one of five nearby universities.

Students approached Scott after the ceremony for congratulatory hugs, with many saying she is one of their favorite teachers.

“I’m honored,” Scott said. “I was not expecting this at all. I think there’s so many awesome teachers in the district that deserve this award.”

Special events

In her time as physical education teacher, Scott developed the Turkey Trot, through which students walk, jog or run nearly a mile into town from Bernardston Elementary School on the day before Thanksgiving. The event also serves as a food drive to collect non-perishable goods for The United Arc food pantry.

Starting last year, she also developed a Special Olympics program within the district, which includes having students participate in a track and field competition in Northampton each spring.

“I just feel so strongly about giving all kids the opportunity to succeed,” Scott said.

Scott said her students’ enthusiasm is her source of inspiration.

“When they’re excited to get in the gym and play, it makes me excited, too,” she said. “Kids are a joy, they really are.”




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