Stamford, CT – Stamford Public Schools (SPS) announced that the SPS Teacher of the Year and Spotlight Award Program committee has selected Stamford High School (SHS) Science Teacher Donna Kaiser as the 2021-2022 SPS Teacher of the Year. As the SPS Teacher of the Year, Kaiser will automatically represent our district as a candidate for the State of Connecticut Teacher of the Year program.
“Congratulations to Mrs. Kaiser for being named as the 2021-22 SPS teacher of the year,” said SHS Principal Raymond Manka. “Mrs. Kaiser is a caring, dedicated, and passionate educator. She is always planning and providing experiential teaching and learning opportunities during and after the school day for our students.”
Kaiser began her professional career as a cosmetic chemist and spent a decade in pharmaceuticals before transitioning to education. Kaiser taught in New York and Greenwich for seven years before joining SHS as a physical science teacher in 2008. She is currently teaching Chemistry and providing instruction and guidance in the district’s afterschool Upward Bound program.
“The Teacher of the Year and Spotlight Award Committee is proud to have chosen Donna Kaiser to represent the Stamford Public Schools as our 2021-2022 Teacher of the Year,” said Committee Co-Chair and 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year Katelyn Tavolacci. “Donna is an enthusiastic, skilled educator who is incredibly dedicated to her students and her craft.”
“I am honored to have been selected as the 2021-2022 Teacher of the Year among all the excellent and deserving candidates,” said Kaiser. “Thank you to my colleagues, friends and students for supporting and inspiring me. I hope to use this recognition to support students, teachers, and schools.”
Kaiser earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Purchase College in New York, a Master of Arts in Secondary Science Teaching from Manhattanville College in New York, as well as a Certificate in Educational Administration and Supervision from the University of Bridgeport. Additionally, Kaiser presented her published research in Biochemistry to the American Chemical Society.
The SPS Teacher of the Year process is rigorous. The Teacher of the Year and Spotlight Award Program committee solicited nominations from September through December and evaluated all submissions based on the following criteria: Outstanding Teaching, Exceptional Student Support, Exemplary Community Involvement and Positive Influence on School Culture. Those considered for Teacher of the Year were required to submit three essays and be interviewed by the committee. Finalists were determined after the interview process and each was required to submit a videotaped lesson.
The district will honor and celebrate the 2021-2022 Teacher of the Year and finalists, Stillmeadow Elementary School Physical Education Teacher Judy Anker and Westhill High School Agri-Science Teacher Ashley Porter-Collins, along with the Spotlight award winners Jillian Churchill, Cloonan Middle School Shakia Amaro, Stillmeadow Elementary School; Nicole Ballantoni, Dolan Middle School; Kirsten Cianci, SPS Anchor at Harbor Landing; and Briana Coyle, Northeast Elementary School, at a SPEF Excellence in Education Awards event. This event will be a livestream celebration on Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.