District News and Announcements

9/9/2014 - Walkup Named State Semi-Finalist for CT Teacher of Year
The Region 15 Board of Education announced at their September 8th meeting that Sarah Kate Walkup, Pomperaug Elementary School (PES) Interventionist and Region 15 Teacher of the Year was selected as one of 14 semi-finalists for the Connecticut State Teacher of the Year.

As a semi-finalist, Walkup will interview with the State Selection Committee at which she will present a prepared presentation and respond to several questions related to education issues and current trends. Four finalists are chosen from among the semi-finalists.

“I continue to be overwhelmed and humbled by this tremendous honor,” said Walkup.

Region 15 Superintendent of Schools Ms. Regina L. Botsford introduced Walkup to the Board of Education.

“We are very proud of Sarah Kate and thank her for representing all of the fine teachers that we have here in Region 15 and I extend to her my sincerest congratulations,” said Ms. Botsford.

Members of the Region 15 Board of Education were equally impressed by her selection as a semi-finalist.

“For those of you who were unable to attend the convocation at the beginning of the year, Sarah Kate gave a wonderful, uplifting speech to an audience of over 500 colleagues, administrators, and family members. If that speech is any indication of how you present yourself in front of the state selection committee, I’m sure we will have a finalist. Good luck and congratulations,” said Ms. Patricia Perry, chairperson of the Board of Education.

Sarah Kate Walkup has been employed by Region 15 schools for 12 years as a classroom teacher, special education teacher, and now as an Interventionist.

Walkup works with PES students identified for Scientific Research-Based Intervention (SRBI) services based on the students’ academic or behavioral needs. SRBI provides support and instruction to children who are struggling to learn. Walkup studies the child’s progress and findings are used to make decisions about teaching and other learning supports.

In addition to her role as an interventionist, Walkup serves as a mentor for beginning teachers and collaborates with other mentors to review the reflective practices of novice educators.

Walkup is described by her colleagues and school parents as having a "magical combination of talent, intelligence, experience and personality." Another nominator says that "she makes her students believe in themselves as readers, as learners, as people," and that she is "effortlessly gracious in the most challenging of circumstances, ...firm in ...beliefs that every child can overcome struggles, and ...tireless in ...efforts to meet everyone right where they are."

The Connecticut Teacher of the Year Program began in 1952. Sponsored by the Connecticut State Department of Education, Talent Office and a number of corporate, organizational and individual sponsors, it begins with the selection of a Teacher of the Year in each district and continues at the national level, where the CT Teacher of the Year becomes eligible for national honors.
“Sarah Kate Walkup exemplifies teaching and caring at their very best. I am delighted to honor her as Region 15's Teacher of the Year and now as a semi-finalist,” said Ms. Botsford.