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Wallingford Educator Named 2018 Connecticut Teacher of the Year


October 3, 2017

Erin Berthold, a first-grade teacher at Cook Hill School in Wallingford, has been named the 2018 Connecticut Teacher of the Year. The announcement took place this afternoon at Cook Hill School, where she has taught for the last 11 years.

"We are thrilled that Wallingford Education Association member Erin Berthold is the 2018 Connecticut Teacher of the Year," said CEA President Sheila Cohen. "Erin will be a passionate and enthusiastic ambassador for the teaching profession. Her love for her students and her profession is infectious. She is always thinking up new ways to engage and motivate her students, and she excels at creating a positive learning environment to help her students soar. Erin recognizes that the key to engaging students in the classroom is drawing upon their imaginations, making connections, and fostering critical thinking."

"Erin joins a list of inspiring educators throughout our state, and she will be an excellent representative of our profession," said David Bosso, president of the Connecticut Teacher of the Year (TOY) Council and the 2012 state TOY. "Like every year, there were impressive candidates at each stage of the selection process. Congratulations to Erin!"

Berthold was recognized by Cook Hill Principal Kristine Friend for her "thirst for knowledge, passion for children, and creative out-of-the-box thinking." Colleagues characterized her as diligent, dependable, and collaborative, and students described her as "funny," "loving," and "very smart."

Berthold is the first Wallingford teacher ever named state teacher of the year—a fact that surprised her. "I can think of many people right within this school who also deserve this honor."

With dual certification in elementary and special education, Berthold holds a master of science in teaching and a bachelor of science in digital media. She incorporates art, technology, and graphic design into her students' learning experiences and believes strongly that teachers not only educate but also motivate. She also values open communication and collaboration with her students' families.

"Students benefit socially, emotionally, and academically when teachers and families work as a team," she says.

Berthold was one of four finalists selected for this top honor. Fellow CEA members also recognized as finalists this year were LeAnn Cassidy (Regional School District 15), Martha Curan (Madison), and Courtney Ruggiero (Westport).

A ceremony honoring Berthold, as well as all districts' teachers of the year, will take place on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, at the Bushnell Performing Arts Center in Hartford.


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