Teacher of the Year Nominees

Story by Hope Murney, Staff Writer

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Recently, the nominees for Teacher of the Year of Stonington Public Schools were chosen. The three teachers that have been nominated at Stonington High School are none other than Patrick McCarney, Tim Bousquet, and Abigail Gauthier. The following interviews express who these teachers are, and answers a few of the questions that students have had for them.

 

Patrick McCarney

Mr. McCarney is a social studies teacher at SHS. He teaches a few rigorous courses, such as AP US History. “He always kept me motivated; when things began to get challenging, he helped me push through; he’s just that type of teacher,” recalls Taennyr O’Reilly, former SHS student.

 

What was your immediate reaction when you were informed of your nomination?

I was surprised and humbled by the nomination.  Being selected as a candidate for TOY is not something I set out to accomplish, but an honor nonetheless.

What was your inspiration behind becoming such an admirable teacher?

Growing up, I had several amazing teachers and coaches who challenged and inspired me to become a better thinker and a better person.  I wanted to be like them and do for others the things that they have done for me.

What do you think makes a good teacher?

Hard work and resiliency.  Teaching isn’t easy and I have failed in my role as an educator more times than I care to mention.  But my shortcomings have only served to motivate me and to work harder to be better at my job

How have you grown from when you first started teaching?

I’ve (tried) to learn from my mistakes and I’ve learned to take advantage of my colleagues’ expertise and enthusiasm. From them I have learned so much–professionalism, grit, determination, empathy, patience….  In short, I am a better teacher than I was 20 years ago because of my peers’ professional support and personal friendships.

Why do you teach?

First, teaching has enabled me to share my love of history with others; second, it allows me to nurture students’ talents and dreams.  Everyone remembers a favorite teacher from his/her past; I want to be that individual for my students.  Realistically, I often fall short of that goal.  But the effort is just as important as the result.

photo by Hope Murney
Mr. McCarney

 

Tim Bousquet

Mr. Bousquet is a Special Education teacher, focusing mainly on subjects such as math and social skills. He has also coached the SHS Softball team. “He is a very enthusiastic person and never underestimates anyone’s ability to do anything,” mentions Emma Miller, senior and member of the team.

 

What was your immediate reaction when you were informed of your nomination?

Surprise.

What was your inspiration behind becoming such an admirable teacher?

My family.

What do you think makes a good teacher?

Having good students.

How have you grown from when you first started teaching?

The longer I teach, the more I care about the students as individuals.

Why do you teach?

That answer has evolved over my career. The more I care about the kids, the more I take personal accountability for  the growth of my students. With that said, I’m only as good as the kids I teach. Similar to coaching a team. I am fortunate to work with an awesome group of kids.

photo by Hope Murney
Mr. Bousquet

Abigail Gauthier

Two of the classes the Mr. Gauthier is Algebra II and AP Programming. According to Samuel Bunger, senior and former student of both of these classes, “Her teaching style worked really well for me. She just knows how to connect with students and help them.”

What was your immediate reaction when you were informed of your nomination?

I was very surprised

What was your inspiration behind becoming such an admirable teacher?

Probably high school calculus teacher, Mrs. Goudreau.

What do you think makes a good teacher?

Listening to the needs of my students.

How have you grown from when you first started teaching?

I have become more comfortable making mistakes.

Why do you teach?

I truly love math and programming.

Mrs. Gauthier

 

From all the students at Stonington High School, congratulations on the nominations, one of which you clearly deserve. The best of luck to you, and thank you for being such outstanding members of the high school faculty.

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Teacher of the Year Nominees