The school band welcomed Hall High School music teacher and band director John Mastroianni Tuesday in West Hartford as he was named Connecticut Teacher of the Year.
“I’m a total spoiled brat,” said Mastroianni. “I walk in here every morning, and I stand in front of the greatest kids in the school.”
Gov. Dannel Malloy and Commissioner of Education Stephan Pryor joined the students and staff at Hall High School for the ceremony.
"I want to hear from you. Is this the Connecticut Teacher of the Year?” asked Pryor. The audience answered that question with thunderous applause.
The students spoke about “Mr. M.”, as they call him, and his unwavering enthusiasm for teaching.
“Mr. M consistently teaches with such conviction, with such love for the material and the people,” said Ethan Swain, a Hall High student. “He puts so much into this program and has earned the admiration of all those with whom he interacts with.”
Mastroianni says he admires his students.
“[Your musical performance] this morning doesn’t bode to well because the board of education is here and all these people, and here you are playing without me sounding great,” Mastroianni joked. “So this is trouble now for me.”