Elsa Batista is Newington Teacher of the Year

Published on Friday, 28 August 2020 20:24
Written by Erica Drzewiecki


Elsa Batista is grateful to her mother Elsa for making her the person she is today: Newington’s 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year.

World Language Teacher at Martin Kellogg Middle School, Batista thanked the elder Elsa in a heartfelt speech, upon her acceptance of the award during Newington Public Schools’ Annual Convocation.

“I arrived in the United States at six years old,” she said. “My mother knew that this move would provide more academic and professional opportunities for her daughters. I am who I am today because of the things she has given up for us. My mother Elsa is smart, strong, wise, loving and hardworking.”

Although her family grew up poor, Batista explained, her mother taught her that the keys to achieving her dreams were simple: hard work and kindness.

She was nominated for the honor by fellow school staff in Newington and selected based on her exception skills, as well as her dedication to children and the teaching profession.

“Ms. Batista’s passion for her work, ability to inspire student learning, commitment, enthusiasm, and deep compassion for her school community strongly support her selection as Newington’s Teacher of the Year,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Maureen Brummett said.

Batista was described by her colleagues as “intelligent, a strong communicator and an advocate for all students,” as well as “poised and articulate, with an outgoing nature” and “the superior ability to inspire learning in all students.”

Dr. Brummett and MKMS Principal Jason Lambert surprised the teacher with the news in the springtime. They asked her to come to the school for another reason and met her there with flowers and a card.

“She really cares about every single person in her community,” the superintendent said as she presented Batista with an official plaque this week.

She will now be eligible for Connecticut’s Teacher of the Year program.

“I am humbled and grateful to be a part of and represent such an amazing district that really does put students first and I promise to continue to make you proud,” Batista said.

She has been teaching Spanish at MKMS for seven years and also taught at Newington’s former St. Mary School. Prior to her arrival in Connecticut, Batista was a teacher in the Bronx, New York.

Her classroom at MKMS is known for being a celebration of diversity - colorful and lively, with piñatas hanging from the ceiling.

In 2019, Batista organized the school’s Staircase to Success Project, with inspirational messages written on the vertical spaces between each step on staircases throughout the building.

More recently, she facilitated the creation of MKMS’ Corner Cub Care Closet, where students can pick up a change of clothes, a toothbrush, deodorant, shoes, and other basic essentials.

Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at edrzewiecki@centralctcommunications.com.

Posted in Newington Town Crier, Newington News on Friday, 28 August 2020 20:24. Updated: Friday, 28 August 2020 20:27.