ELL Teacher Harrington Earns the Inaugural Butterfly Award

Special to the Record

Sarah Harrington, English Language Learner (ELL) teacher at Chelsea High School, was the recipient of the first-ever Butterfly Award during the Convocation program Aug. 26 at the school.

Deputy Supt. Linda Breau and Assistant Supt. Sarah Kent, who are both former ELL teachers, presented the award to Harrington.

Chelsea High ELL teacher Sarah Harrington (third from right) receives the first-ever Butterfly
Award for her creative ideas, innovative instructional practices, and strong support of her colleagues. The award is given in memory of former educator Carolyn Arond. Taking part in the presentation are School Committee Chair Jeanette Velez, Supt. of Schools Dr. Mary Bourque, Deputy Supt. Linda Breau, Assistant Supt. Sarah Kent, and Supt.-Elect Dr. Almi Abeyta.

The Butterfly Award is given by the family of Carolyn Arond in her memory each year to a teacher who exemplifies the qualities and attributes that Carolyn brought to her professional practice. Namely, creative ideas, innovative instructional practices, and strong support of colleagues.

“Carolyn Arond exemplified the Chelsea Public Schools’ motto, ‘We welcome and educate’,’’ said Kent. “Throughout her professional career, Carolyn believed in creating a welcoming, safe and nurturing environment for her students.”

Kent related that “Carolyn was also a creative teacher, one who took initiative and, as a result, brought joy to children in the classroom and the school.

“Carolyn was a nature enthusiast and integrated her passion in to her work,” said Kent. “She initiated the idea of a Butterfly Garden at the Mary C. Burke Complex, hence the name of this honor.”

“The contributions Carolyn made to her students and to the Chelsea school community made a difference,” continued Kent. “Those who knew Carolyn know this to be true. Like the “Butterfly Effect,” Carolyn had, and continues to have a positive impact on all.”

Breau told the gathering of educators that there were 12 “outstanding nominations” for the award from all grade levels.

“Sarah was nominated by both an administrator and a teacher,” said Breau. “Some of the things her nominators said: a great and positive effect on the school community…like Carolyn Arond, Sarah made students feel they belong here..she is a pioneer in developing discussion routines for ELS…she works tirelessly to revise and improve her lessons embedding language development into her content…and she supports teachers offering her time to educate them on the needs of ELs.”

Harrington was also credited with creating student-led Spanish classes for educators that celebrates and affirms the language skills of our students while meeting a clear need in our schools.

“This has been a successful program for several years now and is having a true “butterfly effect” in our district and beyond,” said Breau.

In addition to the plaque, Harrington also received a $500 award that can be used for professional development opportunities or for materials and activities that will enhance and support student learning.

Harrington received a tremendous ovation from her colleagues as she left her seat in the CHS bleachers and walked to the podium in the packed gymnasium to accept the award.

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