Outstanding New Educator Awards

Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 Conference Awards for Outstanding New Educators.  Selected from a national pool of nominees, these exemplary educators are all in their first three years of teaching, were certified through an alternative route program that is a member of NAAC, and demonstrate passion for and commitment to the success of every student. The winners are:

Matt Schifano

Matt Schifano is currently in his second year of teaching as a 6th grade business teacher at Selbyville Middle School in Selbyville, Delaware. The program in which he enrolled for teaching certification was the University of Delaware’s Alternative Routes to Certification program. Matt’s biggest motivation to enter the teaching profession was his passion for helping young children develop skills that he knows they will use in their future, regardless of the direction they pursue. Having worked in various business positions for over fifteen years, Matt has had the chance to see and understand what type of skills it takes to be successful. The feeling that he gets when he sees students develop a skill and learn something that excites them is extremely satisfying and as a 6th grade business teacher, he notes that he has an opportunity to see this happen on a daily basis.

Lucia Cordovano

Lucia Cordovano is currently in her third year teaching middle school special education literacy at STRIVE-Prep Westwood, located in southwest Denver, Colorado. She has always been passionate about working with children and while receiving her undergraduate degree in Speech Language and Hearing Sciences, Lucia discovered her true passion for teaching and supporting students with disabilities. She decided that she wanted to be a special education teacher because she believes that students with disabilities deserve a high-quality education that empowers them to have a life of opportunity, and she knew that she could support them in their journeys. By completing an alternative licensure program through the University of Colorado Denver ASPIRE to Teach Alternative Teacher Licensure Program, she notes that she has been able to work with truly amazing students who continue to inspire her to be a better teacher.

Todd Carr

Todd Carr is currently in his second year of teaching as a 6th and 7th teacher at the Newton County Middle School in Decatur, Mississippi. He is a native Mississippian who grew up in Brandon and graduated from Brandon High School. Todd entered the middle level alternative route program at Mississippi State University, during which he was chosen by the staff of the master of arts program as teacher of the year. After studying landscape contracting, working in landscape business and starting his own business, Todd determined that he was being called to teach middle school. He and his family moved to Decatur where his wife became the senior pastor of a church and where Todd was offered his current position teaching social studies and science.

Honorable Mention

Renee Styles
7th Grade Science Teacher
Academy of Innovation
Progam: Mississippi State University MAT-M

Emily Achilles
2nd Grade Teacher
SOAR Charter School
Program: UC Denver ASPIRE to Teach

Ryan Walker
7th Grade English Teacher
Gallegos Intermediate Fine Arts Magnet School
Program: University of Arizona South

Patricia Da Cunha
4th Grade Language Arts Teacher
Paterson Arts and Science Charter School
Program: Rutgers University CESP

Heather McNair
Science Teacher
Marietta High School
Program: Metro RESA Georgia TAPP

NAAC would like to thank and recognize the Haberman Foundation for its continuous support of the NAAC Intern Award program.