MTA members take honors

Twelve Massachusetts educators with ties to the Massachusetts Teachers Association were honored recently at a State House ceremony for their contributions to public education.

Among those honored were six teachers who are finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and six winners of the Cotsen Award, which is given to educators of children with Asperger's Syndrome.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded to outstanding math and science teachers from each of the 50 states and four U.S. jurisdictions. The teachers are recognized for their contributions to teaching and learning and their ability to help students make progress in both subjects. The National Science Foundation will select the Massachusetts winners, one for math and one for science, from the eight finalists.

The Presidential Award finalists are:

  • Judith Cournoyer, a first grade teacher at Eastford Road School in Southbridge;
  • Kara Frankian, a first grade teacher at Floral Street School in Shrewsbury;
  • Patricia Juranovitz, a sixth grade teacher at C.D. Hunking Middle School in Haverhill;
  • Laurie McCabe, a third grade teacher at the Fannie E. Proctor School in Northborough;
  • Glenna Pearson, a sixth grade teacher at West Boylston Middle/High School; and
  • Anne Tyman, a second grade teacher at the William McKinley Elementary School in Revere.

The Cotsen Award is given by the Asperger's Association of New England's Educators' Advisory Group. The teachers are nominated by parents for their work to help children with Asperger's Syndrome be successful in school.

The Cotsen Award winners are:

  • Special education teacher Aimee Caldeira, third grade teacher Grace Franco and paraprofessional
  • Paula Higgins, all whom teach as a team at the Wampatuck Elementary School in Scituate.
  • Special education coordinator Jen Miller, of the Monument Mountain High School, which is part of the Berkshire Hills Regional School District;
  • Special education teacher Diane Mikush, of Apponequet Regional High School, which is part of the Freetown-Lakeville Regional School District; and
  • Ann Thurber, head of special education for kindergarten at the Mary E. Finn School in Southborough.

Two MTA members win NEA Foundation Awards

Kathleen Keane, a member of the MTA and the Foxborough Education Association, was honored at the NEA Foundation's 12th Annual Salute to Excellence in Education gala on Feb. 8. She was one of 40 educators nationwide to receive The I CAN Learn – NEA Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence.

Also honored at the event in Washington, D.C.,  was Suzanne Strauss, a 12th-grade English teacher at Northampton High School. She was the sole recipient of the William G. Carr Award for participating in professional development activities that enhance the academic skills of herself and her colleagues.

To incorporate Russian and Ukrainian literature into her world literature classes, Strauss traveled to Odessa, Ukraine, to establish an international exchange program and teach a short course at an Odessa high school.

The NEA Foundation awards programs are open to all NEA members, including education support professionals and higher education faculty and staff. The deadline for nominating awardees for 2007 is May 1. For more information, go to