SCITUATE – To help students imagine the isolation felt by Henry Thoreau when writing “Walden,” 2022 Scituate Teacher of the Year Maggie Stormont invited high school English students to write in solitude in blanket forts made under their desks.
English teacher Keith Sanzen, who nominated Stormont as Scituate Teacher of the Year, said Stormont is an exceptional educator both in and out of the classroom, exhibiting consistent leadership and providing a host of opportunities for students and fellow educators to learn and grow.
“Maggie Stormont is a caring, creative and hardworking educator who exemplifies what a teacher should be. She is not just someone who has a ‘good year,’ but someone who has maintained an incredible work ethic for more than 25 years in Scituate, ”Sanzen said.
Stormont said she was surprised by the distinction, and is excited to work with other distinguished teachers across the state. She said it is great working with students, teachers and administrators in Scituate, who make teaching an absolute joy.
“It’s nice to be recognized for something I love to do and is very important to me,” Stormont said.
Sanzen said Stormont works to expand the worldview of students, using video conferencing to bring in guest speakers to discuss topics related to themes in her classrooms.
“In utilizing speakers in this way, Maggie (Stormont) connects her students’ learning with interactions, which broadens their perspectives beyond the boundaries of Scituate,” Sanzen said.
Stormont also advises the Scituate chapter of the National Honor Society, maintaining pillars of excellence as students commit to values of scholarship, service, leadership and character, he said.
“Combined with her efforts to engage the school community in various charity drives and public service opportunities, she helps to nurture those in her charge to be caring human beings,” Sanzen said.
He said Stormont’s classroom has a clear sense of fun and creativity. There are student-made Valentine’s Day cards tapped to her windows written by various characters from the novel “Frankenstein,” who express unique perspectives on love.
“Students read, journal, draw, paint and discuss. In doing so, they are not just completing assignments, but using a wide range of skills to create memorable experiences, ”Sanzen said.
Stormont takes on leadership roles at the school as well as in the community as a whole. She served as a mentor for new teachers in the building, as well as a critic teacher for numerous teacher candidates, stated the nomination
On a state level, Stormont organized and facilitated professional development in Advanced Placement classes, and is an active member in the Rhode Island Writing Project.
“With all these roles, she is a mentor, advocate and friend,” Sanzen said.
On a personal level, Sanzen said Stormont was an amazing resource during his transition from middle school teacher to his first role as a teacher in the high school.
Scituate High School Principal Michael Hassell said he had the pleasure of being instructed by Stormont when he attended school, and she was as great then as she is now.
During an SHS teacher meeting last Thursday, Hassell said Stormont is a dedicated teacher who excels with students at SHS.