Ms. Frangiosa Wins Teacher of the Year

It’s hard to explain what makes a teacher special because there are so many ways a teacher could be considered exceptional. Some might say it’s knowing a lot about the subject, others might say its creative teaching strategies or high level questioning. Still others contend it’s getting to know students. DMAE’s Art Teacher Grace Frangiosa, who was named 20-21 Teacher of the Year, arguably has all of these characteristics; she earned the title as a teacher who has gone above and beyond with her teaching this year.

I feel like I am doing what every teacher is doing, trying to make the best of a difficult situation,” Ms. Frangiosa explained. 

For the past 12 years, Ms. Frangiosa has been teaching a variety of art electives at DMAE, ranging from ceramics to sculpting to drawing. Additionally, she is a Senior Class adviser and a National Art Honors Society adviser. But this year, in the pandemic-induced learning environment, Ms. Frangiosa has spent hours on her lessons and classes to create ways to do art remotely, and has gone above and beyond to help her students stay engaged. Student drawings are pictured here.

“When someone is selected by a committee of their peers it’s a real honor. Characteristics that we look for now, especially with COVID, is going the extra mile, checking in on students, calling their families, getting on Teams whenever necessary, and Ms. Frangiosia has been amazing with that and has a strong relationship with each of the students,” administrator Rosemary Seitel described. 

Being able to take an art elective is seen as a privilege these days. Luckily, many students feel as though they can come to Ms. Frangiosa’s class if they need an escape from the strenuous workload core classes may offer. 

“I think that she cares about us too much,” laughed senior Samuel Rendon. “Whenever I have her class I’m super excited to learn something new or try and there’s not an ounce of fear of failure [in me] which is what drives some students out of pursuing art as a career,” Samuel added. Samuel is currently taking Ms. Frangiosa’s Art Exploration course.

While this year has been difficult on everyone, students and administrators alike have noted Ms. Frangiosa’s efforts to connect with students and families, all the while keeping students engaged in her classes, dedicating herself entirely to their success in and beyond the classroom. 

I am incredibly honored to receive this award. I feel that there are some tremendously talented teachers at our school that are deserving recipients, and I feel lucky to get to work with them every day.

— Grace Frangiosa

I am incredibly honored to receive this award.  I feel that there are some tremendously talented teachers at our school that are deserving recipients, and I feel lucky to get to work with them every day,” Ms. Frangiosa noted. 

For future reference, Ms. Frangiosa wants students from all grade levels to know that her door is always open at school, and that she can be found upstairs in King Hall post-pandemic.