Broyer named Maine History Teacher of the Year

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

LOVELL — Cyndi Broyer is grateful that she can dedicate her energy, passion and caring attitude to a job she “loves” and feels “blessed” to have.

Her skill as an educator, her ability to motivate and her example that has been a role model for a long list of past students all contributed toward Cyndi being named Maine’s 2015 History Teacher of the Year.

“I am proud of what was said about my teaching. I love my job! Feeling blessed,” the New Suncook School fourth and fifth grade teacher said.

Cyndi’s principal nominated her for the award and in a letter of support had written, “Her enthusiasm for the historical units she teaches is contagious and often students have talked about the activities many years later.”

It’s one thing to read about a great teacher and another to see her in action, said Kristie H. Littlefield, State Social Studies Specialist for the Maine Department of Education.

“During my visit, Cyndi joked that teaching may be a little like being an air traffic controller. I would agree…there are multiple pieces to pay attention to. Yet, based on what I saw in Cindy’s classroom, it may be more accurate to think about her as an air traffic controller that simultaneously acts as a world peace negotiator, a maestro of an orchestra, and a civil engineer — all in the course of a class period.

Littlefield added, “I think it’s important to know that, if given the chance, Cyndi would likely dismiss my praise for her skills as a teacher. In fact, upon meeting her for the first time, she was quick to point out that she was most fortunate to be able to work with fabulous colleagues and a supportive administration and community. While I have no doubt that this is true, Cyndi is clearly a leader at her school and serves as a wonderful mentor to beginning teachers. She constantly seeks to refine her teaching and routinely immerses her students in American history through creative simulations and the use of primary source materials.”

At the end of the day, though, Littlefield said it doesn’t really matter what she or what her colleagues think.

“It’s really about the students. And we all know most of them are not afraid to tell it like it is. In fact, Cyndi encouraged them, in her words, to ‘tell what is real and true for them.’ When I spoke privately with many of her students, I was told, ‘Mrs. Broyer cares about us.’ ‘Mrs. Broyer is funny.’ ‘Mrs. Broyer teaches us important things.’ ‘Mrs. Broyer is always willing to help, even when she is busy.’ One student may have summed it up best when she said, ‘Mrs. Broyer is just awesome.’”

Cyndi has been an educator for over 30 years. She’s known for creating a classroom atmosphere where students are actively engaged in the exploration of history through simulations and interaction with artifacts, and she helps students make significant connections between historical topics and their own lives.

The 2015 Maine History Teacher of the Year is an award sponsored by The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

In addition to being named 2015 Maine History Teacher of the Year, Cyndi will receive a $1,000 honorarium and the New Suncook Elementary School library will receive a core archive of history books and educational materials from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. She will also receive an invitation to a 2016 Gilder Lehrman Teacher Seminar, a weeklong program, which offers teachers daily discussions with eminent historians, visits to historic sites, and hands-on work with primary sources.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a New York–based national nonprofit devoted to the teaching and learning of American history.

Nominations can be made by a student, parent, colleague, supervisor, or other administrator familiar with the teacher’s work.

 

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