FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Revere High School's Erin Cronin has been named The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon Massachusetts STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) Teacher of the Year. She will be honored at the 2018 Massachusetts STEM Summit on Nov. 14 at Worcester's DCU Center and her school will receive $5,000 to be used for STEM education.
"I am so honored to receive this prestigious award," said Cronin. "Thank you to Robert Kraft, the Kraft family and to Raytheon for their continued commitment to STEM education in Massachusetts and their support of STEM programs at Revere High School."
Cronin teaches Advanced Placement (AP) calculus at Revere High School and had all 23 of her students pass the AP exam last year with 20 of those students earning a four or five. "I promote the idea that all students cannot only access the content, but also can excel even with the most rigorous levels of the curriculum despite any extenuating circumstances," said Cronin.
Cronin applies the 24 operating principles of the Making Student Thinking Visible model to improve classroom discourse. One of the main ideas behind the model is to allow students to struggle and to help them without taking away their opportunity to discover the material on their own.
"I try to inspire interest by emphasizing the why and the how behind every topic we learn," she said. "There is an ongoing joke with my students that we don't use the word 'memorize.' I make every effort to convince my students that they are more than capable of deriving every single formula they use."
Cronin's dedication to her students is evident in the time she spends with them outside of regular school hours. She typically remains at school for three hours after dismissal to offer help to her AP calculus students and even meets students at a local sandwich shop to assist if needed.
"I work to make AP calculus extremely rigorous, but I also try to be as available as possible for extra support," she said.
In addition to her current duties, Cronin is beginning work with the One Goal program to select 25-30 sophomores – non-typical honors or AP students – that show great potential but will likely need extra support to attend and graduate from college. She will work with the students through their junior and senior years. In addition to teaching functions, trigonometry, and pre-calculus, she will work with them on goal setting, the college application and financial aid process, and SAT preparation.
"The mission of the program is 'College Graduation. Period.'" she said.
Michelle McGlone, The Hall's education coordinator, congratulated Cronin for being named The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon Massachusetts 2018 STEM Teacher of the Year.
"Erin's dedication to her students is second to none," said McGlone. "We had so many great teachers nominated for this award and selecting one winner is a significant challenge, but Erin certainly earned it. On behalf of our selection committee, I want to congratulate her for this award."
Cronin was chosen from a group of five finalists. The other four teachers' schools will each receive $1,000 for STEM education courtesy of Raytheon.
Those teachers are:
- Amanda Hough – Mashpee High School
- Whitney Cleary – J. Turner Hood Elementary School (North Reading)
- Jessica Jarboe – Milton High School
- Danielle Pike – Waltham High School
Hall Executive Director Bryan Morry thanked fellow selection committee members Allison Little and Keith Connors from the Department of Higher Education, Alexis Lian from the Executive Office of Education, Erin Hashimoto-Martell and Meto Raha from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and McGlone for their work in selecting this year's STEM Teacher of the Year.
"Each of these individuals has shown a tremendous commitment to honoring excellence in STEM education and recognizing and supporting some of the best educators in the state," Morry said. "They commit a great deal of time and energy to this process, and we could not complete it without their efforts."