An “out of the box” thinker who inspires her students was named the Weston school district’s 2013 Teacher of the Year.
Storm Snaith, a library media specialist, was honored as Teacher of the Year at the back to school convocation held at Weston Intermediate School on Friday, Aug. 24.
Assistant Superintendent Kenneth Craw said Ms. Snaith inspires her colleagues and her room is warm and inviting for both students and staff, “encouraging trust, risk-taking and learning.”
As a library media specialist, Ms. Snaith works with both students and teachers to facilitate access to information in a wide variety of formats, and instruct students and teachers on how to acquire, evaluate and use information and technology needed in the process. She helps prepare students to be effective users of ideas and information, a lifelong skill.
“It’s really nice that a specialist was recognized for this award,” Ms. Snaith said.
Mr. Craw acknowledged Ms. Snaith’s helpfulness not only to students, but to the staff. “Our teacher of the year has stated that her greatest challenge is to coach the skills and desired understandings that relate to curricular goals in a way that resonates and engages students, teachers, and staff. Her peers obviously can attest to her efforts, commenting that she is an active learner who is always looking for new and innovative ways to deliver curriculum and to challenge students and staff.”
Ms. Snaith has served the Weston school district for the past 13 years. First, she was the library media specialist at Hurlbutt Elementary School and then at the Weston Intermediate School (WIS). This year she has been assigned to Weston High School.
“The seniors [this year] were the first group of kids I had at WIS, so it’s exciting, I’ve really come full circle,” she said.
Ms. Snaith has a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from the University of Pennsylvania and a degree in library media from Southern Connecticut State University. She has participated in the Connecticut Writing Project, worked on numerous curriculum development projects for the district, and was awarded a grant from the Weston Education Foundation.
In addition to helping students, Ms. Snaith has been a teacher of teachers and trained them on the use of Web 2.0 tools. She also organized a teacher technology fair at the intermediate school.
“I don’t pretend to have all the answers, I’m always learning,” Ms. Snaith said.
Ms. Snaith has been married for 30 years to Macleod “Cleody” Snaith, chairman of the Weston Zoning Board of Appeals. They have three grown children.
Ms. Snaith said she has gotten queries about her weather-related first name, Storm, and her husband’s nickname, which is pronounced “Cloudy.”
“Just for the record, my real first name is Storm, it’s not a nickname,” she said with a laugh.
In her spare time, Ms. Snaith enjoys sailing and assists with sailing events for local youths and at the Special Olympics.
In March, a committee of teachers, administrators and former teachers of the year accepted nominations for Teacher of the Year. Nominees had to have at least seven years teaching experience, with a minimum of three in the Weston public schools.
Additional criteria the committee considered were: teachers who challenged students and inspired enthusiasm for learning; subject mastery; respect of students, colleagues, administration and parents; pursuit of personal and professional development; curriculum development; teaching effectiveness; and contributions to the overall improvement of the school community.
Crystal Brooks, a fourth grade teacher, was named Teacher of the Year for 2012. Previous recipients since 2000 were Sharon Dominici, Dewey Strohmeyer, Margaret Taylor, Linda Lazar, Lorraine Westervelt, Janis Larrabee, Susan Hand, Sydney Girardi, Amanda Quaintance, Andrea Noble, and Erin Merrifield.