By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER
Michael Reynolds, a sixth grade social studies teacher at Chippens Hill Middle School, was named the 2019 Bristol Teacher of the Year. A reception was held in his honor on Thursday, Oct. 11, at the Board of Education building.
Reynolds decided to become a teacher while in fourth grade. He said that after years of getting in trouble and being sent to the principal’s office, he decided he would become a teacher so that he could “do it differently.” At the age of 22, Reynolds was hired as a teacher at South Side School. He taught third grade for four years, and fifth grade for 12 years, before moving to CHMS.
“It was amazing to find out that you’re Teacher of the Year in Bristol,” said Reynolds. “There are so many unbelievable teachers here, and so, to strive to be the best, and to be recognized by your peers and the people in the district, and know that with all of the amazing teachers here that you were chosen.”
Superintendent of schools, Dr. Susan Moreau, said Reynolds is always smiling, and that’s the number one attribute of a teacher. Moreau also discussed Reynolds’ “love of learning” and his passion for creating a “community of learners” between himself, his students, and his colleagues.
Mariliz Fitzpatrick, assistant principal at CHMS, shared similar sentiments, saying that Reynolds always finds a way to make his students feel good about who they are.
City Councilors Peter Kelley and Dave Preleski, who served as acting mayor for the occasion, also spoke. Kelley shared comments from Reynolds’ students, having sat in during one school day. Preleski said the city will “do its best to provide” the resources needed to make teaching both possible and effective.