Spotlight on Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni or Programs!
We are excited to announce that Mr. Michael Pozniak, Bishop McNamara High School Teacher and Chair of the Social Studies Department, is the recipient of the 2017-2018 E. Matthew Goyette Endowed Chair for Teaching Excellence. The nominations for Mike Pozniak gave evidence of his impact on this community, on both colleagues and former students. One person wrote about how Mike inspires his students "to want to change the world," through his commitment to fostering global thinking. He does this with "diverse lesson plans that engage his students to think more broadly, to articulate their visions and opinions more precisely, and often to work both together collaboratively and on their own with genuine creativity." As a colleague, Mike is known for his positive, respectful, and encouraging disposition, whether sharing stories from the classroom or his time in Catholic Relief Services, or supporting colleagues in their professional learning.
This award was made possible by the generosity of an anonymous donor, a previous student of E. Matthew Goyette in acknowledgement of his incredible contributions to the School and its students. Mr. Goyette worked at Bishop McNamara High School as an English teacher for more than 35 years. Students over the years fondly recall his teachings and the inspiration he brought to Bishop McNamara High School.
The endowed chair position is granted to one full-time faculty member for one academic year. The awarded faculty member will receive a stipend, a reduction of classes required to teach and paid professional development. Applicants must also have worked at the School for a minimum of five years. The faculty member awarded the endowed chair will be recognized for their superb teaching skills and representation of the same inspirational spirit exhibited by Mr. Goyette during his term here at Bishop McNamara High School.
Mr. Pozniak's selection was made after a thorough process. An online nomination form was open for five weeks, and received responses from employees and students. A group of four finalists was identified after responses were counted and then analyzed according to the award criteria. Upon confirming their interest in the position, all finalists were interviewed by early career teachers, finalists were invited to share artifacts of their teaching, such as lesson plans or student work, and a selection committee reviewed all unedited recommendations, artifacts, and interview notes. The selection committee included several former Caritas winners, BMHS Director of Faculty Development Charlie Shryock (who facilitated the process), Matt Goyette, and the inaugural chair Kate Heneghan. The final decision was unanimous.
Our congratulations to Mr. Pozniak for a well-deserved award for Teaching Excellence!
Contact the Advancement Office for ways to support the E. Matthew Goyette Endowed Chair for Teaching Excellence. If you would like to give now, go to GIVING and select Program Giving with the E. Matthew Goyette Endowed Chair for Teaching Excellence dropdown.
About Mr. Michael Pozniak
Mr. Michael Pozniak has been teaching at Bishop McNamara High School for twelve years. He currently serves as the Chair of the Social Studies Department and teaches the senior-level Global Studies course. During his time at BMHS, Mr. Pozniak has also taught Western Civilization and Contemporary American Politics, while organizing the school-wide mock presidential debates during the past two presidential election cycles. Prior to becoming an educator, he earned a B.A. from Penn State University and Master's degree in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh, working in the field of humanitarian aid and international development. He spent three years in Haiti managing education programs, and has done short-term assignments supporting education initiatives in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. He also served on a working committee that established global standards for providing education to children in emergency situations. His travels have taken him to over 40 countries.
Mr. Pozniak has received the esteemed Lead. Learn. Proclaim. Award from the National Catholic Educational Association in 2016. He was also awarded summer fellowships from the Japan-America Society (2014) and The Korea Society (2013) that have allowed him the opportunity to travel to Japan and Korea. He has also spent his summers as a consultant to international development agencies, teaching a course on International Politics and Human Rights with Johns Hopkins University's Center for Talented Youth, and participating in teacher seminars in Cambridge, England.