William McDonough of Shelton, a veteran teacher and founder of Masuk High School’s robotics team, was recognized as Connecticut’s Vex Robotics Teacher of the Year at a recent qualifying competitor.

McDonough also serves as the Monroe high school’s technology integrator.

McDonough founded Masuk’s robotics team three years ago with a few interested students, mostly upperclassmen. Currently, 87 students from all grades gather six hours a week to design, put together and fine-tune five robots.

“As a teacher, the best awards are the ones where you realize you have made a positive impact on your students,” McDonough said. “For me, it is a gift to be able to share it with our program. The group hug that I was given by our team is a memory I will never forget.”

Started career as math instructor

He began his career in the school’s math department. With increasing interest in technology and computer science, he developed a comprehensive curriculum for Masuk that now includes advanced-level classes in computer programming (Java), video game design, and custom-designing and building one’s own computer.

The 2013-14 competitions mark Masuk’s third season participating in state and national championships sponsored by Vex Robotics. This is the second year students from Monroe have qualified to compete in Vex Robotics international tourney, held annually in April.