Excellence in Teaching Awards

The Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching (PVEIT) Award
(formerly known as the Harold Grinspoon Award) was presented to seven Holyoke Public Schools educators.

Learn more about this prestigious award.

Recipients include:

Annemarie Khalil (Morgan Full Service Community School)
Erin Hanley (Kelly Full Service Community School)
Korri Flynn (Lawrence Full Service Community School)
Margaret Miller (Sullivan School)
Mary Wright (Donahue School)
Nicole Horton (Holyoke High School)
Destinee Meeker (McMahon School)

Excited family members, friends and district administrators surprised the educators with balloons, flowers and award certificates. Congratulations to all!

Annemarie Khalil (Morgan Full Service Community School)

Annemarie Khalil is a first year ELA and Social Studies teacher at Morgan Full Service Community School. She has proven her commitment to herself, her students and Morgan by setting high expectations. She spends countless hours planning engaging lessons and consistently seeks feedback from coaches and colleagues. She is driven and passionate about improving her students’ academic achievement and uses data to create small group opportunities within the classroom.  Annemarie has a great measure of enthusiasm and interest in the students she teaches. She values creating relationships with students and their families.

Erin Hanley (Kelly Full Service Community School)

Erin Hanley is a grade 3 teacher at Kelly School.  Since she began at Kelly School in 2004, she has taught first, second and third grade and has also been a reading interventionist.  Erin is an integral part of our school instructional leadership team and is a building mentor for new teachers.  Miss Hanley consistently has the highest student outcomes within third grade.  On our most recent math interim assessment, all but 3 of her students outscored the ANET network.

Erin is well respected by her colleagues, students and families.  She is a leader in the school and we are extremely lucky to have her at Kelly School.

Korri Flynn – (Lawrence Full Service Community School)

Korri has been a teacher in the district for ten years, educating kindergarten and first grade students.  She has been a valuable member of the Lawrence School first grade team, is bilingual, and holds certifications in English as a Second Language, Early Childhood Education, and Elementary Education. She leads our English Language Development first grade classroom for level 1 and 2 ELL students.

Korri is an outstanding teacher who is innovative in her thinking.  She is constantly looking for ways to improve her teaching and students’ learning. She has created many systems for checking students’ understanding and action planning to meet individual students’ needs.  She has committed to using Universal Design for Learning in her classroom so all students have many options to access grade level curriculum and standards and demonstrate their understanding.

Korri is a leader in the building.  She is an active member of the Instructional Leadership Team, the lead of the UDL team, and a member of her grade level team (that meets daily).  Korri also mentors new teachers and is a support to many others.

I have high respect for Korri’s commitment, dedication, and love of our students.  Korri Flynn is an asset to the Holyoke Public Schools.

Margaret Miller (Sullivan School)

Margaret Miller is a middle school teacher of English language Arts who has worked in Holyoke for the past fifteen years. She started her career at Magnet Middle School in 1991 and taught there until 1998. She then moved joined Lynch Middle School, and most recently had been at Sullivan School for 12 years. Her students consistently are among the top performers in the district on standardized testing, but more importantly her students feel protected, loved, and understood by her. She is a perfect example of how prioritizing student engagement leads to great student learning outcomes.

Mary Wright (Donahue School)

Mary Wright started her teaching career in Holyoke in 1992. Her Reading Specialist background and expertise in english language development has had a tremendous impact on many students throughout her career.  She is highly respected among her colleagues for not only her students’ high test scores and accelerated achievement when she was in the classroom, but especially for her kindness and generosity towards her students and their families. Mary also serves as a mentor for new and developing teachers as well as being the go to person for experienced educators when they need advice.

As Donahue School’s Instructional Leadership Specialist, she is an invaluable part of our team.  Her exemplary coaching advice is welcomed  by her colleagues and is often just what they need to reach their more challenging students. Mary demonstrates a positive team attitude as part of our Instructional Leadership Team, and she is always willing to go above and beyond what is asked of her. She even volunteered to lead our Girl Scout Troop!

Her dedication to the Holyoke Public Schools and our students is unwavering.  All of us at Donahue School feel blessed to work along side her.

Nicole Horton (Holyoke High School)

Nicole Horton is a caring, dedicated and tremendously hard-working guidance counselor. She always makes all students, not just those on her caseload, feel welcome and supported. Nicole is an advocate for her students and is always willing to go the extra mile—whether it is personally dropping off a scholarship at the post office at 5:00 PM, staying late to meet with a parent, or responding to a weekend email from a student, everyone knows they can always count on Nicole to be attentive and professional. We at Holyoke High School are fortunate to have such a committed and positive colleague working with us and our students.

Destinee Meeker (McMahon School)

Destinee is an “outside of the box” educator who through her enthusiasm and commitment to learning inspires students of all backgrounds and abilities to find success in and out of the classroom. She challenges her students, keeping them actively engaged and involved in their learning in a classroom full of rich experiences where learning is valued and celebrated. In addition to delivering high quality instruction, Destinee has earned the respect and admiration of her parents and colleagues. She is an instructional leader willing to share best practices, while  taking every opportunity to engage families in their children’s learning. Destinee truly represents the “heart of teaching.”