English Teacher Recognized for Inspiring Excellence

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Reviewed by Mary McLaughlin, Ma-TESOL; M.S. SpEd

Jason McCuish, an English teacher at Lynn Vocational Technical Institute in Lynn, Massachusetts was recently awarded the Harvard Club’s Excellence in Teaching Award. The award is given to five recipients each year to identify teachers who have inspired curiosity and excellence.

McCuish has been with the school for 11 years and received a B.A. in English and education from the University of Massachusetts and a master’s degree in teaching English as a second language from Salem State University. In addition to his English classes, he has also spent three years as a SkillsUSA Coach and six years as the defensive coordinator for the football team. He feels that his extracurricular work aided in his being honored with the award. “I think people just know that I’m fully committed to it (teaching). I really just try to change kids’ lives,” said McCuish.

The SkillsUSA certification allows McCuish to work with the youth to help them become skilled in their chosen vocation and more marketable when seeking employment. Lynn Vocational Technical Institute was one of the 24 schools out of 14,400 nationwide recognized nationally as a Chapter of Excellence.

McCuish’s students also won an award last year for their work in raising $8,000 for the Greater Boston Food Bank. The Nally Award was given to the students for their outstanding monetary contribution as well as donating 500 care packages to a local shelter.

McCuish was nominated for the award by school Principal Robert Buontempo. Buontempo says that peers at Lynn Vocational Institute almost unanimously recommended McCuish be nominated for the prestigious honor. “He’s such an inspiration to the school, and he gives so much back to the community,” Buontempo shared. He added that McCuish has inspired him often over the years.

The award was presented to McCuish at the 23rd annual teacher recognition breakfast which took place earlier this month.