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MASSACHUSETTS TEACHER OF THE YEAR IS SELECTED

 MASSACHUSETTS TEACHER OF THE YEAR IS SELECTED
 QUINCY, Mass., Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Steven Levy, a fourth grade


teacher at the Bowman Elementary School in Lexington, has been named 1992-93 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year and will be presented to the State Board of Education on Tuesday, Sept. 15. More than 170 Bay State teachers were nominated for the annual Massachusetts Department of Education award, which recognizes skilled and dedicated teachers for their commitment to students, school and community.
 The winning teacher is chosen by a committee consisting of higher education officials, school administrators, teachers, former Massachusetts Teachers of the Year, students and state Department of Education Staff.
 According to his application for the award, Levy became a teacher to help the "children who are frightened or bored with the world and unable to transform it with their inner resources."
 "I focused my attention on the elementary school where their hardness was still maleable and their boredom not unto death," said Levy, who has taught at the Bowman School for the last five years. "I encourage my students to explore the origins of ideas and materials that have long been buried under a gravestone inscribed 'Taken for Granted'. There is nothing like the taste of joy I experience with and through the children as they encounter the fascinations of the world around them."
 Levy views his classroom as "a miniature world which is rich in social issues: how we treat one another, how we help those with special needs, what values unite us in our diversity, and how we solve our problems." Research projects spanning all subject areas immerse his students in the study of topics ranging from the shoes they wear to the measurement of time and space.
 For example, to remedy a class-wide problem of poor handwriting, Levy launched a project that taught each student how to knit. "Knitting helps children to develop their fine muscles, improve hand-eye coordination, enhance concentration, and produce something that they can be proud of," said Levy. The project involved washing, dyeing and spinning a raw fleece, making knitting needles, studying the properties of wool fibers, creating a classroom museum, and videotaping the entire process from fleece to fabric. The end results: a new base of knowledge, and improved handwriting.
 Another innovative curriculum project, "Lexingtons, USA," in which Levy's students explored the origin of their town's name, won national recognition in the American School Board Journal and the Executive Educator. Levy also was honored with the John F. Kennedy prize for the teaching of history and spent the past summer helping to design educational activities for the Kennedy Library in Dorchester.
 Levy will receive the Teacher of the Year Award at a reception sponsored by Encyclopedia Britannica in October. The award includes a Golden Apple trophy, a set of encyclopedias from Encyclopedia Britannica, a laptop computer from Bostek Company, Microsoft Works software from Microsoft Corporation, and a printer from IBM. The reception also will honor two runners-up and five finalists for the 1992-93 Teacher of the Year Award. They will receive gift certificates from the following sponsors: J.L. Hammet Company; Unicom Micro Age; PCR of Hanover, and Orchard Computers.
 Runners-up are Julie Coles, a special needs teacher at the Haggerty School in Cambridge, and Thomas Brow, a social studies teacher at the Melrose Middle School. Finalists are Fran Botelho-Hoeg, a first grade teacher in Rockland; Martha Gale-Carpenter, a vision teacher in Haverhill; Lynne Hunt, a kindergarten teacher in Natick; Paul MacAuley, a high school social studies teacher in Arlington, and Patricia McAllister, a first grade teacher in Leominster.
 Levy will represent Massachusetts in the upcoming National Teacher of the Year competition sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers and Encyclopedia Britannica.
 -0- 9/14/92
 /CONTACT: Marie Fricker of the Department of Education, 617-770-7312/ CO: The Department of Education ST: Massachusetts IN: SU:


CH -- NE023 -- 9263 09/14/92 15:47 EDT
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Date:Sep 14, 1992
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