Oakdale Elementary School News
5th graders painted a mural to hang at the Mystic Aquarium Education Center during winter break.
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It gives me great pleasure to introduce Montville's 2018 Teacher of the Year, Josh Cushing. Josh received his Bachelors in Music Education from The University of Delaware in 2008 and began Teaching here in Montville in February of 2009.
Josh Cushing is focused, driven and passionate about music. The work Josh has done to promote and develop the music department in Montville is nothing short of extraordinary. Josh has conceived of, initiated and implemented new courses, curricular and assessment strategies based on the needs and interests of his students. Through his work Josh has built true musicianship in his students and has developed future musicians with a lifelong love of music. By fostering his students' ability to independently apply strategies learned in class to self-correct and perfect their sound, Josh has cultivated a group of students who are problem solvers and active participants in their lessons.
Josh has served as a leader in regional professional development for music teachers from eighteen districts. This year, Josh worked with the Tyl music department to orchestrate the districts first grade 6-12 choral concert which was a huge success with standing room only.
Josh works tirelessly to provide his students with opportunities to participate in musical events outside of the regular school day as well, including two acapella choirs after school, music festivals for competitions, where they continuously receive awards and praise for their professionalism and behavior.
Josh's students both respect and admire him. Recently, two 9th grade students entered an essay contest at their orthodontist's office where the subject of the essay was, my teacher. In their essays they referred to Josh as "an outstanding teacher, life-coach, and mentor, who always looks out for his students'. In their essays they indicated that not only does Josh bring the best out of his students musically, he regularly discusses with his classes how they can improve personally. He encourages his students to help others, help their community, be kind to one another and to spread positivity and kindness. Needless to say, one of these Montville students won the essay contest!
When asked about Mr. Cushing, the faces of his students light up. The common theme when they discuss Josh is his encouragement for them to not only be the best musicians possible, but also the best human beings possible, because its "more fun to be good". A former student shared that "Mr. Cushing has taught me that there are things bigger than all of us, and that there are things worth working for, he is a teacher who has not given up on changing the world".