Turners Falls teacher wins new industry award

  • Teacher Krista Matrishon in her first-grade classroom at Hillcrest Elementary School in Turners Falls. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 1/28/2021 5:04:06 PM

TURNERS FALLS — Krista Matrishon, a first-grade teacher at Hillcrest Elementary School, has won a new teaching award from the education software company Curriculum Associates. Matrishon is one of 44 teachers in the United States selected for the program.

The Extraordinary Educators program recognizes teachers who achieve best-in-class use of teaching materials from Curriculum Associates. Teachers selected for the program will receive professional development opportunities from Curriculum Associates, and will have access to the network of other teachers in the program. This is the first year Curriculum Associates has offered the program.

Matrishon, who has been teaching in the Gill-Montague Regional School District since 2012, said she had not expected the award.

“I just got an email that said, ‘You’ve been nominated,’” Matrishon said.

Then in December, she got another email alerting her that she had won.

“It was pretty exciting,” she said.

Matrishon began using software from Curriculum Associates last year, specifically for her reading and phonics lessons. The programs work to “self-pace” students by adjusting the difficulty of the questions according to how many questions students get wrong.

“It’s always keeping them at that just-right level where their optimal learning point is,” she said.

As the pandemic has forced Gill-Montague’s schools to be almost entirely remote since last March, Matrishon said she has used the computer programs less often. Students’ parents have preferred to minimize the amount of screen time if possible, she explained.

Gill-Montague is now scheduled to switch to a hybrid class model on Feb. 8 for the first time since the pandemic began.

But, in the last 10 months, Matrishon said her students have done well with the remote class setup.

“All of my kids have made progress, so I’m really proud of them,” she said. “Even with everything going on and the struggles they’ve had, they’ve been able to take hold of their learning and get something out of this crazy way of teaching.”

She added, “I have also seen everyone’s pets several times.”

Reach Max Marcus at mmarcus@recorder.com or 413-930-4231.




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