Teacher of the Year

Congratulations Erin Pinsky!

2020 Finalist
Joel Barlow High School, Redding

Learn More About Erin

Now in her ninth year of teaching at Joel Barlow High School, serving Easton and Redding, Erin Pinsky actively contributes to her school’s goals of community and collective excellence. Erin teaches American Government, Advanced Placement U.S. History, U.S. History, and World Geography. Erin aims to build a community of thinkers and compassionate individuals in the classroom, feeling that her greatest contributions are the moments when she has pushed students to think differently, act with empathy, and delve deeper into why history matters.

Erin has taken leadership roles in the Social Studies Department rewriting curriculum for the U.S. History and American Government courses and she served for two years as Peer Practice Coach, developing and facilitating seventeen professional learning opportunities for faculty in educational best practices. Erin is in her ninth year as a chair of the Student Intervention Team, developing data-informed plans for academically struggling students, utilizing social-emotional learning and executive functioning models. In 2017, she was one of only thirty-six Connecticut educators awarded a grant from the Dalio Foundation to attend Lincoln Center Education’s Summer Forum, immersing herself in various art forms that she continues to embed in her classroom activities and field trips to the Yale University Art Gallery to analyze history through the arts. Erin was accepted into the first cohort of The New York Times Learning Network’s teaching fellowship for 2020-2021 working closely with staff of the Learning Network and 60 colleagues of all disciplines and grade levels around the country. Erin’s curriculum project as a teaching fellow, “Native American Experiences and Public Policy: Appropriation, Assimilation, Loss, Reparations and Repatriation,” engages students in the quest for empathy, cultural sensitivity, and informed advocacy regarding local and national indigenous peoples.

 She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Richmond with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, Leadership Studies, and Italian Studies followed by a Master of Arts degree in Teaching of Social Studies from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Fidelia Fielding
The last fluent speaker of the Mohegan language
“We are no longer the little old tribe that lives upon the hill. We are now the nation that lives upon the hill.”
– Ralph Sturges
Gladys Tantaquidgeon
10th generation of Chief Uncas
The color of women and life