Greenwich High School science teacher selected as finalist for CT Teacher of the Year

Dr. Sarah Goldin, Greenwich High School (GHS) science teacher, has been selected as a Finalist for the 2017 Connecticut Teacher of the Year (CT-ToY), advancing to the next stage of the program. As one of four Finalists, the State’s Teacher of the Year selection committee will visit Dr. Goldin’s classroom and will interview colleagues, students, parents and members of the Board of Education on a date to be determined. Based on the site visit and interviews, the State committee will select the 2017 Connecticut Teacher of the Year.

The Commissioner of Education is scheduled to announce the 2017 CT Teacher of the Year during the week of October 10, 2016. Greenwich High School Headmaster Chris Winters said, “GHS is very proud to have Sarah Goldin leading our Innovation Lab, working with AVID, and teaching in the Science Department. She is a gifted educator and highly deserving of the recognition of being a Finalist in the CT Teacher of the Year Program.”

Since 2008-2009, when Greenwich Alternative High School teacher Anthony Mullen was named the National Teacher of the Year, six Greenwich Public School teachers have advanced to the Semifinalist stage of the State Teacher of the Year program. Three of the six advanced to the Finalist stage – Anthony Mullen, GHS World Language Teacher Rita Baker in 2011, and Sarah Goldin. Mr. Mullen is the only Greenwich Public Schools teacher that has been selected as the Connecticut Teacher of the Year since the State program began in 1952.

Connecticut Teacher of the Year Selection Process

The Connecticut Teacher of the Year Program recognizes and honors teacher excellence. It does not attempt to select the “best” teacher; rather, to identify, from among many outstanding teachers of the year, one teacher to serve as a visible and vocal representative of what is best in the profession. The program celebrates excellence in teaching by recognizing teachers who have inspired a love for learning in their students and who have distinguished themselves in the profession.

Each district teacher of the year is eligible to submit an application to the State Department of Education for consideration as Connecticut Teacher of the Year. The teachers’ application packets include biographical and professional information, essays on topics ranging from personal teaching philosophy to the issues facing public education, and letters of endorsement.

Each application is reviewed by at least five members of a statewide selection committee representing the state’s major educational organizations, former state teachers of the year, and community stakeholders. The review of applications identifies 12-15 semifinalists who are invited to make a formal presentation on a pre-assigned topic, and to respond to questions as part of an interview process. Finally, four finalists are visited at their schools, where selection committee members observe the teachers’ classes, interview colleagues, administrators, and students, as well as support staff, parents, and local board of education members. At the conclusion of the site visits, the selection committee meets and selects the Connecticut Teacher of the Year.

Greenwich Public Schools selection process for representative in CT 2016 Teacher of the Year program

Dr. Goldin was one of the six teachers selected and honored by the Greenwich Distinguished Teachers Awards Committee, Inc. (DTAC) in April/May 2016, after a comprehensive nomination and review process. The Greenwich DTAC, a nonprofit organization, was established in 1984 to recognize and celebrate excellence among the dedicated teaching staff of the Greenwich Public Schools.

The Superintendent of Schools is subsequently charged with selecting from among the six Distinguished Teachers annually, the one teacher that will represent Greenwich in the Connecticut Teacher of the Year program. In May 2016, then Superintendent of Schools Dr. William McKersie reviewed the nomination packets submitted for each of the Distinguished Teachers, spent time in each of their classrooms, debriefed the observations with each teacher and with their principal/headmaster, and reviewed essays submitted as part of the selection process. In June 2016, Dr. McKersie announced Dr. Goldin as the Greenwich Representative for the 2017 Connecticut Teacher of the Year program.

Bio Brief

Sarah Goldin Before becoming a teacher in 2009, Dr. Sarah Goldin spent eleven years in primary science, culminating in a doctoral degree in genetics and development from Columbia University, including seven years working as a full-time laboratory research scientist during which she published eight articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals. She also worked for four years as a Scientific Advisor and Patent Agent for an intellectual property firm.

In 2009, Greenwich High School (GHS) welcomed Dr. Goldin as a science teacher. She has taught biology and honors biology and was a co-creator of the high school’s honors biochemistry course. In order to prepare for the development of this new course, Dr. Goldin independently obtained her teaching certificate in chemistry.

Dr. Goldin was instrumental in launching the AVID program at Greenwich High School in 2010, and in developing the Innovation Lab, which launched in 2015. For the Innovation Lab, she wrote and obtained two grants from the Greenwich Alliance for Education after spending countless hours designing and promoting the program. Innovation Lab is an interdisciplinary, project-based learning program that engages students of all ability levels in collaborative problem-solving around real world issues as supported by relationships with, and presentations to, experts and professionals in the community.

Dr. Goldin graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi from Princeton University, Princeton, NJ with a bachelor of arts degree in molecular biology, where she also won the George Khoury Senior Prize for Academic Excellence. She received a master of science in biotechnology from University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, followed by a master of arts and master of philosophy in genetics and development, both from Columbia University, New York, NY. She received a doctorate in genetics and development, also from Columbia University in 2002.

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