Schools Chief Chooses Erin Montague for 2021 CT Teacher of the Year Program

Superintendent of Greenwich Public Schools Dr. Toni Jones announced Wednesday that Western Middle School’s Erin Montague is the Greenwich Public Schools selection for the 2021 Connecticut Teacher of the Year Program.

Ms Montague will be acknowledged for this recognition at Thursday night’s Board of Education Special Meeting.

“While I believe all of our Greenwich Schools teachers are distinguished, Erin was nominated and selected in this year’s Distinguished Teachers Program, and then continued on to become our GPS representative at the state level,” Dr. Jones said in a release from the district on Wednesday.

“She has been described by WMS students, staff and families as a collaborator, innovator, listener and dedicated champion for her students,” Jones added. “And in this unique year of Distance Learning, which required an adaptive, innovative mindset to interact with students virtually she truly rose to the occasion and delivered outstanding content and resources for her students.”

“I have been fortunate to be surrounded by and learn from many amazing educators during my own education as a student in the Greenwich Public Schools and now in my career as an educator in Greenwich,” Montague said. “I also want to recognize the Western Middle School community, especially my students, who motivate me everyday and whom I truly love. I look forward to sharing the amazing work of GPS in the next phase of this program.”

Westner Middle School principal Gordon Beinstein said he was pleased Montague was selected.

“In my 32 years in education, I have never met anyone more committed to the well being of her children than Ms. Montague,” said Gordon Beinstein, principal of Western Middle School. “I use the term ‘her children’ purposefully as Erin interacts with the students as if they were her own children. Like any good parent, she takes a tough-love approach, with the emphasis on the second word.”

“She celebrates their successes and counsels them through their struggles, and in middle school, it’s much more the latter than the former as the children begin to forge their own identity,” Beinstein added. “Ms. Montague is the perfect role model and mentor for the kids in these formative years. She is intimately invested in the success of each and every one of the 200+ kids on her caseload.

Parents and students alike seek out her counsel as they know the message is always from the heart and in the best interest of the child, even if it’s not what they want to hear. They trust her implicitly, as they should. Her contributions to Western go well beyond her role as a counselor. Erin is the pulse of Western and I do not know where we would be without her, and I hope I don’t have to find out anytime soon.”

Ms. Montague was selected from the six Distinguished Teachers that were announced in April.

The 2020 Distinguished Teachers included: Ms. Dace Ashcraft, North Mianus School; Ms. Barbara Bartlett, Eastern Middle School; Ms. Colleen Drumm, Western Middle School; Ms. Jessica Keller, Greenwich High School; Ms. Erin Montague, Western Middle School; and Ms. Lori Mulligan, Greenwich High School.

Ms. Montague has been working in Greenwich Public Schools for six years, serving at Western Middle School as a School Counselor and Site Coordinator for AVID. She also served as the Cheerleading Coach for Greenwich High School from 2016-2019.

Ms. Montague is a trusted confidant that provides healthy structure and a safe place for students to flesh out academic, social or emotional goals while simultaneously addressing needs as they arise for her caseload of 200+ students.

Ms. Montague received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Human Development & Family Studies from the University of Connecticut, her Master of Arts in School Counseling from Fairfield University and her Administrative Certificate from Sacred Heart University.