Atkinson named district’s top teacher

Photo of Brian Gioiele
Booth Hill School kindergarten teacher Kim Atkinson using sensory techniques with her students.

Booth Hill School kindergarten teacher Kim Atkinson using sensory techniques with her students.

Contributed photo

Already considered one of the district’s top innovators, Kim Atkinson now holds the title of Shelton’s Teacher of the Year.

The Booth Hill School elementary teacher was named the city’s top teacher during the Board of Education meeting Wednesday. Booth Hill School Principal James Zavodjancik accepted the behalf of Atkinson, who was unable to attend.

“Kim is an incredible educator in our building,” said Zavodjancik, who has worked alongside Atkinson for three years. “She is looked up to by the students and the staff here, and she also is one of our main planners of professional development, helping teachers improve their practices as well.

“This is an honor for Kim,” added Zavodjancik, “but a bigger honor for our school to have the Teacher of the Year.”

School Superintendent Dr. Chris Clouet, in announcing the honor, credited Atkinson for weaving “mindfulness” into her lesson plans each day.

“Kim is a kindergarten teacher, so this is an unusual selection, but she does really great work,” said Clouet. “She is super dedicated to the kids. And she weaves in mindfulness with her work. She makes mindfulness a true part of the educational experience that her kids have.”

Clouet also noted that Atkinson — who earlier this year was chosen as an Innovator of the Month — has been asked to visit other schools in the district to discuss her lesson planning.

In other business:

• The Board of Education voted 6-0, with Dr. Darlisa Ritter abstaining, to appoint Gavriela Ziu-Pires the district’s STEM supervisor. She has been the district’s supervisor of teaching and learning.

• Cara Foley, reading specialist at Perry Hill School, was awarded a $2,000 grant from Books Love Foundation to purchase books for the school library.

• The board accepted a $5,425.88 donation from the Stop & Shop Rewards Program for Mohegan School.