- Wake County Public School System
Scialdone is 2015-16 Teacher of the Year
May 18, 2015
Middle Creek High School teacher Matthew Scialdone is the Wake County Public School System’s 2015-16 Teacher of the Year. Scialdone received the Wake County Teacher of the Year Award sponsored by Wells Fargo at a banquet held at the Raleigh Convention Center on Thursday, May 14. Approximately 750 guests were on hand to celebrate Scialdone and his work, as well as the accomplishments of all 172 Teacher of the Year school-level winners.
“Matthew Scialdone embodies what all good teachers strive to become. He represents the Wake County Public School System very well, and we congratulate him,” Superintendent James Merrill said. “He is a fierce proponent of community support for our schools, and he is deeply devoted to ‘lighting a fire’ of passion for learning among his students. We salute Matthew for demonstrating excellence in his craft.”
Scialdone’s teaching practices, philosophy
Scialdone teaches ninth-grade English and African-American Literature at Middle Creek High, where he has taught for 13 years. He holds a master’s degree in literature from N.C. State University and a bachelor’s in secondary education from Appalachian State University.
Scialdone says he believes building strong relationships with students while helping them to develop their own love of learning are keys to their achieving success.
“Given the average American’s access to technology, students don’t really need to be fed facts much anymore. Instead, students need to develop their own problem-solving, critical thinking and creative skills,” he said. “Through a personalized approach, I try to create a relationship with students, pique their curiosity about our course content, give them a little factual/procedural scaffolding, and then allow them to ‘play’ with ideas.”
Middle Creek High School Principal Wade Martin says that Scialdone “changes students’ lives.”
“He connects with every student that passes through his door in one way or another,” said Martin. “As an academic English 9 teacher, he works with high school students who may have never found success in English/Language Arts in middle school; after one semester with Mr. Scialdone, they see and feel the possibilities of high school success. The success that Middle Creek High School has had over the years has been built by teachers like Matt Scialdone!"
As the Wake County Teacher of the Year, Scialdone will represent Wake County in the North Carolina Teacher of the Year competition. He succeeds 2014-15 Teacher of the Year Allison Reid, a Heritage High School teacher.
- an engraved acrylic award;
- an overnight package for two at The Umstead Hotel and Spa, compliments of The Umstead Hotel and Spa;
- a check for $1,000 compliments of our corporate sponsors;
- a travel cart filled with various classroom and office supplies from Mike Griffin of Office Depot;
- $100 in gift cards from Office Depot
- an Autobell Car Wash gift certificate, compliments of Jordan Driving School;
- a $50 gift certificate to The Angus Barn, compliments of The Angus Barn and our corporate sponsors; and
- a $2,500 award toward participation in the Center for International Understanding's global study program compliments of The Center for International Understanding, a Dan Royster memorial. The award will provide support for Scialdone to participate in the Center for International Understanding's June 2015 Study Program to South Africa. The Dan Royster Teacher Award was established as a tribute and memorial to Dan Royster, a Wake County science teacher and enthusiastic international exchange participant. The award is funded through contributions from his family and friends.
Candidates for Teacher of the Year are nominated and elected by their peers. The teacher candidates develop portfolios that describe their careers and philosophy on teaching. The selection committees review the portfolios and narrow the field to 26 semi-finalists. The selection committees then observe the semi-finalists in their classrooms and each committee chooses one teacher to be among the 13 finalists.
The finalists are interviewed by the Teacher of the Year Interview Committee. Based upon the interview, the committee then chooses the Teacher of the Year by secret ballot.
Scialdone’s 12 fellow finalists are Mary Catherine Burnette, Bugg Elementary School; Karyn Gloden, Wake Young Women’s Leadership Academy; Jean Hockenyos, Wakefield Elementary School; Susan Holland, Reedy Creek Middle School; Austin James, Millbrook High School; David Jones, Brentwood Elementary School; Clinton McCaskill, Heritage High School; Ruth McCoy, Fuquay-Varina High School; Karla Nantz, Cary High School; Sydney Sherry, York Elementary School; Erline Speed, Zebulon Middle School; and Alison VanKerckhove, Willow Springs Elementary School.
The 12 finalists received a $100 cash prize compliments of corporate sponsors; an Autobell Car Wash gift certificate, compliments of Jordan Driving School, a $50 gift certificate to The Angus Barn compliments of The Angus Barn and our corporate sponsors, an "Office in a Box" filled with various classroom and office supplies compliments of Mike Griffin with Office Depot, and an engraved acrylic award.
Wells Fargo is the primary sponsor of the Wake County Teacher of the Year Award and banquet.
Want to see more of Matthew Scialdone in the classroom? Check out this Facebook album from a recent class on To Kill a Mockingbird.