Matthew Scialdone, an English teacher at Middle Creek High School, was named the Wake County school system’s 2015-16 Teacher of the Year at a ceremony on Thursday.
Scialdone, 39, who teaches ninth-grade English and African American Literature, was one of 13 finalists for the honor. He’s spent his entire 13-year teaching career at Middle Creek High in Apex.
“Matthew Scialdone embodies what all good teachers strive to become,” Superintendent James Merrill said in a written statement. “He represents the Wake County Public School System very well, and we congratulate him. He is a fierce proponent of community support for our schools, and he is deeply devoted to ‘lighting a fire’ of passion for learning among his students.”
Wade Martin, the principal of Middle Creek, praised Scialdone for connecting with students and changing their lives. Martin said Scialdone helps freshmen feel they can succeed in high school after not having had success in middle school.
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Scialdone said the key is to build strong relationships with students to pique their curiosity about the material.
Scialdone will receive a prize package that includes a $1,000 check. He will now compete in the state Teacher of the Year program.