Awards and Recognitions
Our Masters in the Middle
We, the VAMLE Board members, are pleased to honor Kim McMahon and Jamie Caron with this recognition and applaud their significant accomplishments based on their intense passion for effective middle level school teaching and a commitment to the lives of young adolescents!
We at VAMLE are sorry that we did not have any nominations for our “Rising Star” Award given to those exemplary novice educators with three or fewer years of teaching. We hope to have nominations for this award in Spring of 2024.
Williston Central School
Kim McMahon, a Family and Consumer Science teacher, is recognized for the Master in the Middle Award. Kim teaches at Williston Central School in the Champlain Valley School District. Kim was nominated by her colleague, Allan Miller, who describes her accomplishments. “It was clear from the onset that Kim is one of those teachers that just gets middle school students; enjoys the craziness that comes with teaching early adolescence; and has a full package of skills, talents, and personality to do great work with them! Soon after I was hired, she volunteered to help me with my initial seating charts and during those first conversations, her amazing commitments to truly knowing students became crystal clear.” Allan continued, noting, “For over 500 students, she knew years of history; who worked well with whom; who was struggling with friendships and needed special attention; who was working through identity questions and would appreciate a name/pronoun, check in; and who could benefit from pre teaching and modifications. She masterfully creates a nurturing culture where kids feel safe and known. Students truly love her, and she loves them back. It's a beautiful and rare thing to see and truly deserving of recognition as a family master in the middle honoree.”
Lead principal, Greg Marino, described Kim this way: “Kim has dedicated herself to making her classroom a safe harbor: A place where students feel unconditional welcome and acceptance at any time of day, including during her own lunch and prep periods. She models daily for students and adults alike what it means to be an ally.”
Allan noted that “Kim was instrumental in getting our GSA club off the ground in 2017.” Her guidance with the GSA Club has led to “multiple trainings for faculty and staff about gender identities, sexual identities, and pronouns; and offered leadership and advocacy opportunities to student members.” Kim’s efforts led to getting pride progress flags displayed throughout the building. Ms. McMahon also helped students to be able to raise the Black Lives Matter Flag in 2020.
Allan concluded about Kim, “In my 36 years in education, I've never met another teacher who connects so effectively with so many students and uses that knowledge to ensure that they feel known and welcome in her classes.”
Essex Westford School District
Another teacher recognized to receive the Master in the Middle Award is Jamie Caron, a mathematics teacher in the Essex Westford School District at the Albert D. Lawton Intermediate School in Essex Junction. Jamie was nominated by colleague, Ellen Emery, who describes him in this way: “Jamie mentored a sixth-grade teaching candidate during the spring and modeled systems, routines, and procedures to support his candidates practice. Mr. Caron proactively scheduled observations with colleagues of his and other schools to study their practices and learn from them.”
“He empowers students in his mathematics classroom. Students manage instructional time, a folder system, student dismissal, and the materials they use.” According to Ellen, Jamie uses constructivist instructional processes with students as they use discovery to learn more abstract principles. Ellen describes Jamie as “a true reflective practitioner worthy of recognition.”