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STEM Academy Teacher of the Year – Ginger Lavelle!

Jim Mulchahy, Principal STEM Academy/SHS; Ginger Lavelle, Teacher of the Year; Chip Hill, Assistant Principal - STEM Academy

At the Sandwich Public Schools Convocation on August 30, 2017, STEM Academy Assistant Principal Chip Hill shared the following remarks about Ginger Lavelle. Ginger Lavelle is currently the grade 7 Engingeering Teacher at Sandwich STEM Academy. She previously taught mathematics to 8th graders at Oak Ridge. 

The STEM Academy Teacher of the Year is Ginger Lavelle, Grade 7 Engineering Teacher

Ginger is a founding faculty member at the STEM Academy, jumping from the Oak Ridge School.

She holds a Master’s in Curriculum and Teaching and has presented at the STEM Conference held at Worcester Polytechnic University

She serves as the advisor to our Robotics Club and remote underwater vehicle team

Ginger is super-student-centered, always working with students, with a smile and kind words, toward solving a problem using technology.  What for many students, (and often for us) can be a frustrating, difficult technological task, Ginger works with enthusiasm and a persistent “you-can-do-this attitude.  Needless to say, students reflect that enthusiasm and remain motivated throughout her classes.

I did a little “snooping” and on her wall there is a poster with a little girl under the headline:  The Parts of an Engineer.  These are those parts and how I have applied them to Ginger and her teaching:

A curious and creative mind:  After watching hundreds of cardboard racers run down the hall and making thousands of suggestions for adjustments to improve racer capabilities, Gingers comments always remain supportive, allowing curiosity and creativity to abound.

Observing eyes:  I can attest that on repeated occasions, Ginger is first on the scene of shenanigans in the A100 hall

Tools:  Ginger is using cutting-edge technology daily including student CAD programs, 3-D printing, and remote-controlled underwater robots!

Listening ears and a sharing mouth:  Through her careful listening and thoughtful feedback, Ginger is attentive to students needs, addressing issues before they erupt into frustrations.

And finally, Quick feet…have you tried to keep pace with Ginger?  Maybe she runs at such a pace due to her active children (by the way…awesome kids…quite familiar to many on this faculty), or her work down at “The View” where I could swear she spent much of the summer.

In her classroom, Ginger works to ensure each of these parts on her poster come together to make students feel they are capable of engineering.  From my lens, each of these parts describes a faculty member…an engineer worthy of the title:  STEM Teacher of the Year