Beard Award goes to 3 inspiring teachers in Bridgeport, CT Schools
May 05, 2016
Beard Excellence in Education
The Beard Excellence in Teaching Award Fund is a field of interest fund at the Fairfield County Community Foundation. Working with the Beard family and the Bridgeport Education Fund, we select two inspiring teachers in Bridgeport each year that receive a $25,000 cash award. This year three teachers were selected making it the largest teaching award in CT and amongst the largest in the country.
Meet the Educators
Described by students as committed and amazing, Ms. Bresky was nominated by her principal Ms. Diana Soares, who wrote that she has “created a classroom of passionate investigators”. She is a strong believer in the value of student discourse and teamwork is emphasized in her classes at the Bridgeport Military Academy. Teaching in the Bridgeport school district for nine years, Ms. Bresky’s role as a history teacher is to help students develop critical thinking skills and a deep understanding of human history. Ms. Bresky uses the method of Investigation to uncover truths behind historical figures. Her students work as a team to analyze source material and historical documents. Her colleagues describe her as a leader and creative. Parents describe Ms. Bresky as involved with school activities and always available to them.
Ms. Robinson was nominated by her colleague, Sheena Graham, who says, this winner, “represents Bridgeport well.”
She engages students intellectually, kinesthetically and musically as she uses the curricula of music and arts integration. She inspires students to approach problems from a variety of perspectives, modeling not just creativity but also tolerance and open-mindedness. The General Music & Arts Integration teacher at Roosevelt School, she has been teaching in the Bridgeport school district for seven years. Her classroom is filled with instruments and hands on instruction and demonstrations. Performance based assessment of her student’s ability, through large and small ensembles that perform in school programs, is her preferred method which may be non-traditional but effective. Her colleagues describe her as exemplary and creative. Her students describe her as bringing life to learning.
Ms. Sarra was nominated by her Magnet Director, Dr. Patricia Anekwe and a host of students whom describe her as, “the teacher every child deserves and the teacher of all teachers”. [or, “resourceful and adventurous”] The Math & Computer Science teacher at Central high school, she has been teaching in the Bridgeport public schools for twenty years and is always inventing and trying new strategy to get her students interested in math and computer science. Ms. Sarra became the one-woman Computer Science Department noting that students needed more not fewer computer skills. Ms. Serra developed her own curriculum focusing on STEM analyses and Introduction to Computer Science and Programming. Her classroom is paperless and open-ended with direct instruction a rarity and each student is expected to increase mastery by at least 5% each week. Her colleagues describe her as a leader, dedicated, creative, and the go-to person for any issue that is technology related.
The Theodore and Margaret Beard Excellence in Teaching Award continues to recognize individual teachers whose light shines bright, especially those who: engage, inspire and motivate students to achieve academic excellence, involve students’ families, and use creative instructional strategies and effective classroom management skills. The Beard teachers have proven to be of great value to Superintendent Fran Rabinowitz. They are now in a position to unleash their talents and passions to benefit teachers and students throughout the Bridge-port school district. The Superintendent meets with a group of them monthly, they have been on retreat, act as mentor teachers and present workshops. They are the true embodiment of the phrase “the wisdom lies within”.