Excellence in Teaching Awards

The prestigious Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching (PVEIT) Award from the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), and the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation was presented on Thursday, February 15, 2018, to six Holyoke Public Schools teachers.  Excited family members and district administrators surprised the teachers with balloons and flowers.


This year’s Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award winners include: Faith Glanville (EN White School), Jeanette Acevedo (Sullivan School), Amy Drohan (Lawrence School), Jessica Giroux (McMahon School), Maureen O’Brien (Metcalf School), Diana Yousfi (Peck School).  “It’s a privilege and honor to recognize this year’s awardees for their hard work, and dedication to their students,” stated Receiver/Superintendent of Schools Dr. Stephen Zrike.  “They work tirelessly to hone their skills; support, develop and inspire their students; and share their knowledge.  We are fortunate to employ so many talented, committed, and inspirational educators in Holyoke!”


The prestigious award is distributed annually to honor Western Massachusetts educators for their dedication and excellence.  Winners are nominated by their colleagues based upon the following suggested criteria: excellence in teaching practices, subject mastery and scholarship, effectiveness and creativity, impact on students, support of and positive impact upon other teachers’ practice, participation in professional development, evidence of going above and beyond in classroom and school community.


The Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Awardees receive a cash award, an engraved plaque, a membership at a local YMCA and the Springfield Jewish Community Center, and tuition grants to take graduate courses at several colleges and universities.  They will be honored on May 6th at a banquet with awardees from other districts at The Log Cabin Restaurant in Holyoke, MA.