Position: Targeted Instruction/Gifted and Talented Teacher
School: Wilbur Watts Intermediate School
School District: City of Burlington Public Schools
City, State: Burlington, New Jersey
About the Nominee: Mark McCann was nominated by his principal, Robert Shappell. For so many students, Mr. McCann is more than just a teacher. He is a coach, a mentor, a guardian and a friend. Mr. McCann has the unique opportunity of working with students on both ends of the spectrum; he teaches basic skills, as well as gifted and talented students. Regardless of their academic level, he makes each student feel like they are the best student around. While most students may cringe when being pulled-out for targeted instruction or staying after school for extra help, Mr. McCann's students welcome time spent in his classroom. He does more than teach content - he reaches students.
A perfect example is a student who has repeated sixth grade. Last year, this student missed over 40 days of school as they bounced around from house to house. Eventually, they were living out of their mother's car. Mr. McCann made sure that the student was fed, clothed and in school for the entire last marking period and summer program. Although it was not enough to pass for the year, this student still improved significantly. They started off this year by staying with Mr. McCann every day after school. This student has clean clothes, new Air Jordans and is fed everyday because of Mr. McCann. They are also passing all of their classes, have a new group of friends, and are in good spirits. Mr. McCann was a LifeChanger for this student, but they're only one of many examples.
Mr. McCann does not do what he does for recognition. He does what he does because he cares. He comes to school every day in a great mood, looking to make everyone else's mood equally great. Mr. McCann is the type of person that others, both students and staff, want to be around. He and his wife are about to have their first child. Based on the kind of "school dad" he is for students, he will make an incredible father for his own child! He is an amazing LifeChanger who makes an impact on students, each and every day.