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Three EWSD Teachers Honored by UVM

February 23, 2021

ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. - Three Essex Westford School District instructors were recently honored by each being named a 2020 University of Vermont Outstanding Teacher of the Year. The three recipients were Alice Weston (EWSD K-8 Teacher of the Year from Hiawatha), Carrie Malekoff  (EWSD Secondary Level Teacher of the Year from Essex High School), and Jim Dirmaier (EWSD Technical Center Teacher of the Year from the Center for Technology, Essex). 

Every year, the College of Education and Social Services (CESS) at UVM, together with Vermont supervisory unions and school districts, the Vermont Agency of Education, and the Vermont NEA, join to honor the accomplishments of our state’s outstanding educators. 

Last year Weston took on a new dual role as SEL Coach and Behavior Coach at Hiawatha. As the SEL coach, she has led the development and implementation of the SEL standards through whole school meetings. Weston works with teachers to model these standards in the classroom to show how the standards can be implemented throughout the day. A mentor to other SEL coaches, Weston helps to lead the work at the District level and provides weekly SEL lessons for the EWSD Remote Academy. 

As the Behavior Coach, she works with teachers, paraeducators, the principal, and interventionists to provide Tier I, II, and III interventions for students with behavioral needs. Weston also had led the Hiawatha work around the Zones of Regulation. The work she does makes a significant, positive impact daily on her students, families, faculty, and staff.

Malekoff is a Technology Education Specialist at Essex High School. A champion for enhancing student learning, she goes above and beyond to inspire teachers to use cutting-edge technology in their practice. During this COVID crisis, her expertise has radiated as she shifts seamlessly between working with novice educators to those who are tech-savvy, including moving teachers seamlessly toward online learning.

Malekoff focuses on the learning and the learner, has impressive content knowledge and practices, and is able to connect with everyone in the building. Her patience and kindness paired with her logical and rational thinking make Malekoff an invaluable colleague and teacher leader.

When considering the domain of the student and the learning, Dirmaier has gone out of his way over many years to make the Engineering program at CTE accessible to a wide range of students from across the region. In this pandemic year, he has gone even further to make many modes of learning content and engaging with peers accessible to his students. 

Dirmaier understands that his students have different needs and he is very clever in coming up with ways to differentiate tasks and projects to meet those so that all students are being challenged in ways that promote growth and learning. His dedication to his students’ academic success is reflected in the way they respond to him and respect him as a teacher, mentor, and friend.  

Due to COVID-19, the Annual Outstanding Teacher Day for this academic year will occur in April of 2021 instead of its usual occurrence in the fall. 


EWSD Teachers Honored by UVM