Teaching is undoubtedly a career that presents nearly as many challenges as it does rewards. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the day to day demands that sometimes weeks can go by without coworkers in different departments having the opportunity to converse.
And so, it was with the idea of developing community and focusing on the elements of teaching that cannot be measured with test scores, that MMS Principal Mark Hatch and Assistant Principal Melanie Smith designed the Making A Difference Award.
Mr. Hatch and Ms. Smith made the purchase of two trophy cups deep enough to be filled with individualized treats for each month’s recipient. The plaque on the cups simply reads, “Messalonskee Middle School Making a Difference Award.” The first two recipients, selected by the administrators, were Paul Begley and Lauralee Fegel for their high level of involvement in the local community.
The twist with this award is that in the following months, the previous month’s recipients are the ones who choose the next recipients. According to Mr. Begley, the choice is rather challenging. “There are many very worthy teachers at MMS and throughout our district. It was my pleasure to give the award to a very deserving colleague, but it was a difficult decision.” Mr. Begley passed the cup on to music teacher Michael Peterson, while Ms. Fegel chose to honor literacy coach Mary Glennon.
The idea behind having teachers make the selection is to allow everyone in the building to learn more about what their coworkers do. Even the most involved administrator can’t see everything that staff members do to support their students, community, and one other. The award isn’t limited to the teaching staff either; any staff member in the building can be a recipient of the Making a Difference Award.
As Mr. Begley simply stated,”It is always nice to be recognized for work done.”