Teachers of the Year: Debra Tucker and Brad Piccirillo



Debra Tucker and Brad Piccirillo said they were both humbled by the award and hope to continue their success in years to come. — Aaron Berkowitz photo

Co-recipients Brad Piccirillo and Debra Tucker ‘humbled’


Hundreds of Shelton education supporters gathered at Testo’s restaurant in Bridgeport on Oct. 29 to honor the two recipients of the Teacher of the Year award for 2014-15.

Brad Piccirillo, a science teacher at Shelton High School, and Debra Tucker, a special education teacher who currently teaches life skills at Perry Hill School, were both selected to receive the prestigious award because of their dedication to the school system and ongoing effort both in and out of the classroom.

Mayor Lauretti proclaimed both of the candidates Co-Teachers of the Year and awarded them both with citywide celebration dates in their names. From now on in Shelton, Nov. 2 is Debra Tucker Day and Nov. 4 is Brad Piccirillo Day, according to Lauretti.

He added that a goal of the Shelton school system is to have as many dedicated teachers and staff stay in the city for 20-plus years.

“You still have 10 more years to go,” Lauretti said to Piccirillo as he proclaimed him Co-Teacher of the Year.


Mayor Mark Lauretti, Debra Tucker, outgoing Superintendent Freeman Burr, Brad Piccirillo, Chairman of the Board of Education Mark Holden, and the new superintendent, Dr. Christopher Clouett — Aaron Berkowitz photo

Both Tucker and Piccirillo said being recognized for their hard work was humbling.

“It’s nice to be recognized for just doing our job,” said Piccirillo. “There are so many candidates deserving of this award, so it’s special. The award recognizes us, but as you see, so many people are here that are a big part of what we do.”

“Being dedicated to your job and enjoying what you’re doing really made the difference for all of those nominated and finalists,” said Tucker. “It means a lot. It’s really an honor.”

Tucker said receiving the award has led her to reflect back on her career and how far she has come.

Piccirillo also acknowledged his journey up until this point in his career, and both teachers agreed on their source of motivation.

“It’s all about the kids,” the candidates said simultaneously.

“Knowing that we can make a difference in these kids’ lives is the reason we do what we do,” said Piccirillo. “When kids come back and you see their accomplishments and they thank you, that makes all of our work worth it.

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