2017-05-25 / News

Shipley honored with Inspirational Teacher Award

By Sam Tunningley


Students spoke on stage at the recent Blueberry Ambassadors awards ceremony on the efforts Flushing Seymour Elementary’s Maureen Shipley, Blueberry Ambassadors’ Inspirational Teacher of the Year, in their own lives. A few of the speakers noted Shipley offered her assistance during a family death or divorce to help them cope. 
Photo by Tanya Terry Students spoke on stage at the recent Blueberry Ambassadors awards ceremony on the efforts Flushing Seymour Elementary’s Maureen Shipley, Blueberry Ambassadors’ Inspirational Teacher of the Year, in their own lives. A few of the speakers noted Shipley offered her assistance during a family death or divorce to help them cope. Photo by Tanya Terry FLUSHING – Maureen Shipley of Seymour Elementary was this year’s recipient of the Blueberry Ambassador Inspirational Teacher Award for her efforts in encouraging the students of Flushing to reach out a helping hand to others.

Shipley works as the school home coordinator Flushing Schools – a position created 18 years ago when she first came to the district with a background in social work. The job entails maintaining close connections with parents, handling conflicts between students and promoting diversity.

“My goal is to be in all the classrooms,” said Shipley.

The Blueberry Ambassadors were brought to Flushing Community Schools around three years ago, due in large part to Shipley taking charge of the organizing and meetings. The group accepted ten sixth grade applicants from each school who displayed a genuine passion for servicing the community; all were required to perform three random acts of kindness during the school year.

Now, with the help of Shipley, the Blueberry Ambassadors have expanded to fifth grade and a third grade class at Central Elementary taught by Amanda Lang. She credits the staff as much as the kids with helping the group stay afloat and spreading the word.

Under Shipley’s leadership, the students have helped out local kids with illnesses, donated snacks to the North End Soup Kitchen and created a day dedicated to their favorite janitor, Antoni Rutkowski.

“I love the kids,” said Shipley. “I receive about 20 hugs a day.”

Shipley was away on a field trip during the official award ceremony, but the students still took the stage to offer kind words on her behalf. A video of the event has been uploaded to the Flushing Community Schools website.

“I’m honored,” said Shipley. “It blew me away.”

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2017-05-25 digital edition