SOUTHBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — A kindergarten teacher at a school in Southbury routinely goes above and beyond for her students. That earned her a special honor in her district this year.
No matter the day of the week, Christine Musante is doing what she has always wanted to do.
“I came home from the first day of first grade and told my parents I wanted to be a teacher,” Musante said. “It’s just always been the path for me.”
Now she’s a kindergarten teacher at Pomperaug Elementary School in Southbury. She’s the kind of teacher who makes school fun and the kind who went out of her way to hold a fundraiser for Connecticut Children’s when one of her students was getting treated there for leukemia.
“We created a little bookstore where the students can sell the writing they made to their parents,” said Musante.
Now, everyone is worried about health and disease. Everyone wears a mask and last year’s students were forced to learn from home all spring.
“The little ones were so resilient, though. They surprised us at every turn,” said Musante. “At the end of the school year, I was even able to go to each of their houses, socially distant, on the lawn, and give them a little present.”
Which is just the kind of extra effort that made her this year’s Region 15 teacher of the year.
“I think Christine is a fantastic representation of what Kindergarten teachers do to schools and the climate in the school,” said Region 15 Superintendent Joshua Smith. “I just wish we could have 700 of her around the state for kids to be a part of.”
“I just started immediately crying, I was just so honored,” Musante said of the honor. “Of course, I love teaching with all of my heart. It’s my passion, and so to feel that other people feel that, it’s just the best gift anyone can ask for as a teacher.”
Remember, teaching is the only thing Christine Musante has ever wanted to do.
“To see the light in their eyes and their smiles, even with the masks on is just something that warms my heart, so I couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” Musante said.
She added that every year her husband jokes that this is the year she will earn teacher of the year honors. This year, he was right.