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Who Says You Can't Go Home?

BHS grad David Bosso named Connecticut Teacher of the Year at his alma mater.

David Bosso went through the Berlin School System and became an educator after graduating from Eastern Connecticut State University. It was only natural for him to begin his career at Berlin High School where he was hired as a social studies teacher and also coached boys basketball.

He then decided to travel the world and bring back to Berlin what he learned on those trips. While he travels the world, he is most at home in his classroom and at his home in Berlin with his wife Jennifer Bosso, also a teacher at BHS.

Bosso, a social studies teacher at Berlin High School in Berlin for the last thirteen years, was named Connecticut’s 2012 Teacher of the Year at a ceremony at his school today. He was chosen from more than 50,000 candidates from all over the state. He will now be considered for the National Teacher of the Year.

The ceremony was more like a pep rally than a stuffy academic affair.

"We wanted to make it like that because Dave was a great scholar but also a good athlete and coach here," Assistant Principal Janet Parlato said. "We played the fight song and also sang the alma mater because he is an alum of the school.”

“I am pleased to introduce as the 2012 Teacher of the Year an educator who has developed his students’ cultural awareness and fostered global understanding in the classroom—essential skills for graduates entering a diverse and global economy,” said State Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor in making the announcement. “Teaching strategies and learning tools must be continually adapted to incorporate the changing demands of our 21st century society. To meet these expectations, students are asked to think critically and set up and solve real-world problems. They learn to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and in a variety of ways. Educators like Mr. Bosso make it possible that students know their part in our global community.”

Pryor, in his first public appearance since he took the job, asked the students of Berlin who packed the gym, if Bosso deserved to be the teacher of the year. The response from the students was deafening.

Teaching social studies in the same high school he attended in the same small town in which he was raised, Bosso earned a B.A. in History/Social Studies from Eastern Connecticut State University, an M.A. in History at Central Connecticut State University, another master’s degree in Educational Computing and Technology from the University of Hartford and is currently enrolled in the doctor of education program at American International College in Springfield, MA. Bosso’s beliefs about teaching draw from his world travels, which find a natural place in the classroom. “One of the greatest rewards of teaching is observing a student begin to make sense of our common humanity, start to realize his or her place in the world, and grasp the potential he or she possesses.”

Bosso’s work with prospective, current and new teachers is extensive. He serves in the role of TEAM mentor, cooperating teacher, and fieldwork advisor. He also coached the school’s boys’ basketball program for several years, during which time the team won the 2006 Division III State Championship.

Connecticut’s Teacher of the Year is selected from over 50,000 public school teachers in the state and will represent professional educators in forums and advisory committees that affect education policy and public awareness of the successes and the challenges that schools face today.

Connecticut’s Teacher of the Year will travel to Washington D. C. in the spring to meet with the President and U.S. Secretary of Education. Connecticut’s Teacher of the Year will automatically become a candidate for National Teacher of the Year, which will be announced by President Obama in June, 2012.

Many of Bosso's mentors were in attendance and the humble teacher was overwhelmed by the ceremony and outpouring.

"It was great to have my colleagues, family and friends there with me," Bosso said. "To walk in while they are playing the fight song was awesome. I'd like to think that this honor is for all the colleagues who don't get the recognition they deserve. I'm proud to be a spokesperson for the teachers of Connecticut."

Bosso is a former student of 1989 Connecticut State Teacher of the Year Carol Virostek, who was also on hand. Berlin is only the fifth school district in the state to boast two teachers of the year along with West Haven, West Hartford, Glastonbury and Bloomfield.

"I had Mrs. Virostek as a teacher," Bosso said. "I remember her being passionate and showing up and working hard every day. She made us want to learn and go on to study more on the subjects. Her passion always stood out."

Bosso said while the accolades and praise is great but it has been his students who have impacted him the most.

"The response from the kids when they found out has been awesome," Bosso said. "It's hard to put into words. I don't know every student but even ones I don't know have come up and said 'nice job.' It's a great school and there are so many great kids. Lia's (D'Amato) speech for the students was great. They inspire me to do my best."

Superintendent of Schools David Erwin said having the state teacher of the year in your system is a boost to the town.

"It is a great publicity for the Berlin School System, there is no question," Erwin said. "He will be called to speak at other schools and it ads to the prestige of our town. When he asked me to look at his application packet I was amazed at how detailed it was. I thought he had a really good shot to be the state teacher of the year and I think he has a realistic chance to be the National Teacher of the Year."

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