Naubuc's Briody honored as Teacher of the Year

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Fri., Oct. 4, 2013
Naubuc Elementary School teacher John Briody smiles as he makes a speech as he is honored for being named Glastonbury's Teacher of the Year, at a reception on Oct. 3. Photos by Steve Smith.
Naubuc Elementary School teacher John Briody smiles as he makes a speech as he is honored for being named Glastonbury's Teacher of the Year, at a reception on Oct. 3. Photos by Steve Smith.

Naubuc School third-grade teacher John Briody has been named Glastonbury's "Teacher of the Year." At a reception at the school on Oct. 3, it was easy to find people willing to sing his praises.

“He has proven to be a gifted teacher,” said Naubuc Principal Michael Litke. “He is committed to not only making a difference in the lives of his students, but the school, our community, and the district as a whole.”

Briody has also worked with the Naubuc Chess Club, helped organize the district-wide chess tournament, and helped organize the school's backpack program, among his many extra-curricular activities.

Board of Education Chair Susan Karp said Briody excels at the academics, but also rises above them, and shows his students an example of how to be immersed in community service. “We all have a teacher that we remember from elementary school,” she said. “From what I have learned, Mr. Briody is that teacher. He is the teacher his students will talk about 20, 30, or 40 years from now and remember something from his classroom or from what he has done for them that has truly left a lasting and positive impression on them.”

Dr. Alan Bookman, Glastonbury superintendent of schools, said he has known Briody for many years, and he has never heard anyone say anything other than glowing about him. “He has such great relationships with both the students and with their families,” Bookman said. “He truly is a superb educator.”

“We were not surprised when we learned he was named Teacher of the Year,” said Diane Creen – co-president of the Glastonbury PTSO. “John is one of  those rare people with the leadership skills and the down-to-earth quality to get it done, and get it done right.”

Doug Foyle – Board of Education member and Naubuc parent, whose two children have had Briody as a teacher – said he became familiar with Briody's teaching style which he said is “perfectly-aligned” with what is needed for today's children. “He's authoritative, but not authoritarian,” Foyle said. “He's calm, yet assertive. He's supportive, yet challenging. He's got an easy-going style and good humor. He creates a supportive and engaging classroom.”

Briody was presented with the Teacher of the Year plaque, which will hang in Naubuc School for the year. He also received several gifts from fellow staff members. He was also serenaded by the Soaring Eagles – a band in which he plays drums – with a rendition of  “John Briody,” to the tune of “Sweet Caroline.”

Students at Naubuc Elementary also paid tribute to Briody, via pre-recorded video comments.

Briody said he thanked everyone for planning the event, as well as making it “Mr. Briody Day” at the school. “This is a special, amazing place, and I feel so fortunate to come to work here every single day,” he said. “I feel like this celebration today is a celebration for all of us – a celebration for Naubuc School.”

He said that while the school and district had been supportive of the initiatives, he can't take all the credit for them. “We don't do these things alone,” he said. “These are not my ideas, they are other people's ideas that come together and result in some amazing things for our school and our community. I'm just happy to be a part of it.”

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