2020-2021 Teacher of the Year

2020-2021 Teacher of the Year
Posted on 08/31/2020
Ms. Elsa Batista, 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year


It gives me great pleasure to announce the 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year for the Newington Public Schools is Ms. Elsa Batista, World Language Teacher at Martin Kellogg Middle School. Each year, all teachers have the opportunity to nominate members of the professional staff who they feel have contributed in a special way to the teaching and learning experiences taking place in Newington.  Ms. Elsa Batista was selected based upon her exceptional skills, and dedication to children and the teaching profession.  She values the ideals of teamwork. She is intelligent, a strong communicator, an advocate for all students, and a strong believer that public education is the vehicle to prepare all children for participation in our society.   She is an individual who is poised and articulate, with an outgoing nature.  She possesses the superior ability to inspire learning in all students.  Ms. Batista will represent Newington in the Connecticut Teacher of the Year Program.

Ms. Batista has been teaching in Newington for seven years as a World Language Spanish teacher. After teaching five years in the Bronx, she moved to Connecticut and taught at St. Mary’s school prior to joining Martin Kellogg Middle School.

Ms. Batista finds opportunities within our curriculum for her students to learn about different cultures.  She is a strong advocate of creating a colorful, fun and inviting environment. The second her students walk into her Spanish classroom they smile, because the Piñatas on the ceiling remind them of a Fiesta!

As a World Language educator, Ms. Batista makes it a point to provide opportunities for her students to celebrate how they identify themselves and see the beauty of diversity in the classroom.  She delivers consistency, stability, and reliability to all her students. As an educator, she strongly believes that if students feel good about themselves, they will perform better academically.

She is deeply committed to her school and community. Elsa’s commitment to her students centers around civic leadership, serving as a role model for her students.  She and her 8th grade colleagues spearheaded the Staircase to Success Project at Martin Kellogg Middle School by creating  inspirational words and quotes and placing them on the spaces between the staircases. This project has had a very positive impact on students as well as reinforcing the school model “Every Student, Every Day”. Additionally, Elsa facilitated the creation of the “Corner Cub Care Closet” in the building to assist students who may be struggling financially, providing students and their families clothing and toiletries. 

A colleague commented, “By sharing her values of hard work, perseverance, and giving back to others, Elsa leaves a lasting impression on all, inspiring others to follow in her footsteps. Whether it’s a student who lacks basic necessities such as food or clothing, a child who is struggling emotionally or a family that does not speak English, Elsa will be there to organize the effort on their behalf. Her warmth and generosity know no bounds”.          

Dr. Maureen Brummett, Superintendent of Schools, indicated “Ms. Batista’s passion for her work, ability to inspire student learning, commitment, enthusiasm, and deep compassion for her school community strongly support her selection as Newington’s Teacher of the Year.”