|By Carley Dangona
Reminder Publications submitted photo
AGAWAM On Feb. 13 Agawam High School (AHS) teacher Scott Trahan received notice that he was among the 15 teachers named a "Teacher in Excellence" by Mass. Insight Education's Mass. Math + Science Initiative (MMSI).
Trahan stated that he has taught in Agawam for the past 15 years. Currently he teaches Algebra 2 Honors, Pre-Calculus Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus. He runs the prom committee and math. He also offers after school review sessions to his students.
According to Trahan, there were initially 87 students enrolled in the AP program and next year there are 500 students. He serves as the lead teacher for the AP program that AHS. The MMSI program was introduced to AHS three years ago. As part of that program, he works with other math teachers at West Springfield High School, South Hadley High School and Chicopee High School.
"It's an enormous responsibility," Mort Orlov, president of MMSI, said. "He's been remarkably successful both in teaching his students and collaborating with his peers. He's committed to his students and their achievements."
Orlov noted that of 35 students, 32 earned qualifying scores in Trahan's courses. "That's a remarkable outcome in any setting," he stated.
As part of the AP program, a practice exam is offered in March. "Students come in for four and a half hours on a Saturday to take the practice test," Trahan said. "We feed them breakfast and lunch. The students receive their scores that day. The actual test is in May so the students have time to review and practice with the assistance of the teachers."
"It's an honor for us to honor him," Orlov said. "For me the best part of the program is getting to know and work with these amazing professionals, adding that MMSI has recognized teachers all along, but that this is the first time a group of program funders have requested to do so.
"What's different is that the awards will be presented during a public event and they beyond what was being done."
He continued, "My hat is off to Scott and his colleagues in Agawam," noting that current Superintendent William Sapelli and his predecessor had "great visions and is incredibly supportive."
Trahan told Reminder Publications why he chose teaching, "I always wanted to be a teacher," he said. "In high school, I volunteered in the math department I always loved math. I've always done lots of community service as well. I like the high school age because those students are independent to conduct fundraisers and do charity work."
He added, "My students amaze me every day; they challenge me they're awesome."
When asked what makes a successful teacher, Trahan said, "Take the time do the extra sessions, meet the students at night, answer their questions, offer extra help."
On March 7, the awards will be presented at the Partners in Excellence Award Dinner at the Museum of Science in Boston. A $1,000 award will accompany the recognitions.
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