The Collaborative for Educational Services is pleased to announce the December and January winners of our regional Excellence in Education: Living our Guiding Principles Award! We honor those educators across the DYS workforce who embody one or more of the Guiding Principles including: College, Career, and Civic Readiness; Culture and Purpose; and Social Justice and Equity, central to the organization’s mission to improve the academic and life outcomes for the youth they serve.
Western Region: Teaching Coordinator, Gandara Alternative Options, Ronald Perrott
Ronald Perrott was nominated by both fellow teachers and his students. Ron exemplified the principle of Culture and Purpose through his work to create a program where students are heard, their opinions matter and they are given a voice while being respected at all times. Congratulations to Ron!
Southeast: Southeast Secure Detention, Teacher, Nathan Henner
Nathan Henner was nominated by his Teaching Coordinator John Cady for his work in the Principle of College, Career, Civic Readiness. John had this to say about Nate:
“Nathan has been effectively delivering the Empower Your Future pilot curriculum for the past two years. He and the Southeast Secure Detention clinical department have graduated to the point in their delivery of the instruction and/or curriculum that other programs have sought out their advice. Nathan was able to offer his colleague the necessary advice, suggestions, and an invitation with any future concerns that may arise. The curriculum designed for this course has helped Nathan to prepare his students for their future including, but not limited to their career choice and their postsecondary education.”
Central Region: Butler Center School, Roger Solomon
Roger Solomon’s nominations highlighted his contributions to College, Career and Civic Readiness. Butler Center Program Director Robert Wilson says of Roger:
“Roger is fantastic in getting DYS students excited about learning. This is not an easy task to accomplish. Roger makes learning intrinsic for our youth by creating fun, educational related hands-on projects. The students have always thrived in Roger’s classroom. He has the innate ability to teach them real life, hands-on research such as utilizing Science and Math skills in a fun and engaging way. Recently he has collaborated with a direct care staff at utilizing statistics in math class to punch in data for the residents fantasy football league. His science experiments over the years with students have not only helped them engage in the classroom but strengthen their sometimes fragile confidence and self esteem issues. Through the years we have held events to showcase these science projects that the kids have been very proud of. We are very fortunate to have somebody of Roger’s skill level and overall passion for helping others work at the Butler Center School/CES.”
Metro Region: Terry Branch
Terry Branch is the Health and Wellness Educator for Metro and was nominated by four of his colleagues, who noted,
“Terry’s knowledge and personal participation as player, coach, and instructor, has made him a valuable asset to these kids. Sports can teach leadership… fair play… rules of participation… and sportsmanship- all part of Terry’s commitment to our kids… You can always count on Terry. He’s great with the boys and always willing to lend a hand…Terry manages to build relationships where students feel valued in each Metro unit. This is not only something I’ve witnessed in gym and health class, but even in an ELA class recently where he fostered discussion with students based on their personal experiences of being on teams and his experience as a coach.”
Northeast Region: Northeast Detention Teaching Coordinator, Bethany Boulanger
Bethany Boulanger recently transitioned into the Teaching Coordinator position at Northeast Detention – before that she was the English Language Learner Specialist in both the Metro and Northeast regions. Bethany’s colleague had this to say in their nomination,
“Bethany has worked tirelessly to facilitate a smooth transition from NERP to NED by completing vast amounts of digital paperwork, while also cleaning, organizing and decorating the classrooms and hallways of their new unit. The students have been assured by Bethany that their academic programming will continue as it has been. Recently, as part of her students EYF playlist, the students created resumes that they are all proud of. I am in awe of the energy and enthusiasm that she brings to the students in her care. As a new content teacher and now a new TC, Bethany has excelled in creating Culture and Purpose for her unit, not just for the students, but for the teachers as well..”
Metro Region: Teaching Coordinator, Erin Silverman
Erin Silverman has been the Teaching Coordinator at Judge Connolly Youth Center for three years – before that she was the Teaching Coordinator at Metro Pre Trial Unit and at Casa Isla. Erin has been nominated for this award by four of her colleagues, who shared that, “Erin is the most supportive TC I have ever worked with…. Erin is always helpful. She is caring and a great leader…helps students learn to appropriately ask for their aspirations, attain some of their hopes, encourages them to reach for their dreams without giving up.”
Central Region: Jane Chick
Jane received multiple nominations highlighting her contributions to College, Career and Civic Readiness. Please see what Jane’s colleagues had to say about her below.
“Jane is one of the best teachers I have ever seen. She always puts the needs of her students first and foremost. She always makes sure that they are in an environment where their opinions are recognized and listened to. She does an excellent job allowing the student to self-advocate for themselves. She is always willing to provide the most resources that her students need without question. It had been an honor to be able to teach alongside her and learn from her excellent example.”
“Jane does many things to connect with and inspire her students to learn. She spends time to individualize lessons and to make connections to the real world. She always tries to get the most from her students even when they are struggling.”
“The staff at the Fitchburg District Office would like to nominate Jane. Jane always goes above and beyond to create meaningful learning opportunities for the youth at Spectrum REACH. Jane works hard to connect the students’ interests to engaging, hands-on activities in the classroom. Jane’s enthusiasm is contagious and empowering for the youth and staff alike. Jane always sees the best in students and advocates for their best interests in all areas of treatment. Our office has had the opportunity to see youth who have struggled in previous educational programming in community settings thrive and engage when working with Jane.”
Southeast: Kris Souza
Kris Souza, Education and Career Counselor, was nominated by ECCs Beth Martin and Brian Mitchell for his ongoing HiSET work in the community. They had this to say about Kris:
“We wanted to acknowledge and thank Kris Souza for providing our youth an opportunity to take the HiSET test at the Taunton District Office. We can’t emphasize enough what an amazing asset this is for our Southeast students. Kris saw the need for youth friendly testing sites, particularly during COVID, and has done an incredible job researching, coordinating and creating this opportunity. One student passed his HiSET on 12/21/2021 two days before he was discharged from Teamworks and 10 days before he aged out of DYS. Kris coordinated with his casework team to schedule five individual test dates to provide the optimal testing environment.This was not an easy task given both staffing and Covid challenges . I know, without a doubt, that we would have lost this student when he returned to the community if this option had not been available. He now signed a YES and is taking an online college class. A student from the Randolph DO was tested and passed his HiSET exam and is now applying to the Building Pathways Program. Without a high school credential, this meaningful career opportunity would not have been possible. Kris has facilitated district office exams for 8 students since the start of the HiSET test at home initiative.
Western Region: Tracy Lyon
Tracy Lyon is a Health and Wellness Teacher in the West. Tracy exemplified the principle of Social Justice and Equity throughout January and was nominated by her peers as well as her students. Tracy helps to guide both students and peers forward while giving voice to all students and their backgrounds. Congratulations, Tracy!