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Mr. Jason Martinez Named 2021 Waterbury Teacher of the Year

Jason Martinez was named Waterbury's 2021 Teacher of the Year. Mr. Martinez is a Physical Education teacher at North End Middle School.

Waterbury Public Schools is delighted to announce that Mr. Jason Martinez has been named the district’s 2021 Teacher of the Year. Mr. Martinez, who has been with the district for 17 years, is a physical education teacher at North End Middle School. He is beloved by his school community, which described him as someone who “shares his positivity and enthusiasm for learning with his students every day.” Mr. Martinez embraced this extraordinarily challenging year, designing a 10-week virtual fitness program for his students.

Mr. Martinez is a lifelong resident of the city and is deeply committed to his community, spearheading the city’s Kids Marathon Program, which has grown to be the largest outreach program in the city, for several years. He also served as head football coach at Crosby High School.

“We are very excited that Mr. Martinez has been selected as this year’s Waterbury Teacher of the Year,” said Superintendent Verna D. Ruffin. “He is devoted to his students and exemplifies the best of the teaching profession, inspiring his colleagues through the years and particularly this year.”

Ms. Gramatto (Grace) Tzepos Morikis, a 4th grade teacher at Bunker Hill Elementary School, Ms. Krislyn Petti, an English Language Arts teacher at Wilby High School, Ms. Stefanie Ann-Teta Porcaro, an art teacher at Rotella Interdistrict Magnet School and Ms. Mary-Ann Sagnella, PhD, a World Language teacher at John F. Kennedy High School, were also selected among several applicants as Waterbury Teacher of the Year finalists. Mr. Martinez will be considered for the title of Connecticut Teacher of the Year, which is traditionally announced in the fall.

The district extends its deepest congratulations to all of this year’s honorees. The teachers, selected by their school, have been recognized for their incredible contributions to the field of education. Each one has inspired a love for learning in their students and has supported their colleagues through an extraordinarily challenging year.

Teachers of the Year


Bucks Hill Preschool- Amy Murphy

Bucks Hill – Daniel Marcano, Jr.

Bunker Hill- Grammato (Grace) Tzepos Morikis

B.W. Tinker- June M. Chiarillo

Carrington- Elvira Barbosa

Driggs- Theresa Owens

F.J. Kingsbury- Sandra VanAmburg

Frank G. Regan- Alana DeFazio

Gilmartin- Nirmala Amrit Vowe

Hopeville- Cara Martini Munro

H.S. Chase- Darlene Lerz

John Duggan- Karen Gaudiosi

Jonathan E. Reed- Marie SunnyRose Shampang

Maloney Interdistrict Magnet- Erin Fogarty

M.M. Generali- Karen Lowe

Rotella Interdistrict Magnet- Stefanie Ann-Teta Porcaro

Sprague- Heather Stasaitis

Walsh- Kenneth Yaffe

Washington- Joanne Alonzo

Wendell L. Cross- Michelle Quintana

Woodrow Wilson- Katy Torres


Crosby High School- Marie M. Calma

Enlightenment School- Anthony R. Varrone

John F. Kennedy High School- Mary-Ann Sagnella, PhD

North End Middle School- Jason Martinez

State Street Program- Alexa Bandurski

Wallace Middle School- Raymond James Irrera

Waterbury Arts Magnet School- Justin Amenta

Waterbury Career Academy- Richard Pastore

West Side Middle School- Matthew LaMontagne

Wilby High School- Krislyn Petti

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Waterbury Public Schools
236 Grand Street
Waterbury, CT 06702
Phone: (203) 574-8000

Fax: (203) 574-8010