Mary Tarashuk, fourth grade teacher at Wilson School in Westfield, has been chosen as one of two Educators’ Choice Content Award winners in the country.  This award was given to Mary for her original content piece, Teaching by Doing Something Meaningful. Referring to this educational philosophy as the “do something meaningful syndrome (DSMS),” Ms. Tarashuk states, “Teaching, in its truest form, is simply inspiring other people to inspire each other, and to learn and grow together.”

Tarashuk was selected from among 20 nominees by Smart Brief, a digital media company based in Washington, D.C. which will honor her at an emerging leaders’ reception at the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development’s (ASCD’s) annual conference in Anaheim, California in March.

An educator in the Westfield Public Schools for 19 years, Tarashuk also is a creative consultant for the national nonprofit initiative, The Walking Classroom Institute.

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“I'm happy to report that the ‘do something meaningful syndrome’ is still going strong in my fourth grade classroom,” Mary said upon learning about the award.

“It's nice to know that other people can relate to the shared frustrations that many educators face today,” she added. “I’ve made many mistakes and I have had many successes ... and there is valuable wisdom in both.”

“DSMS is already starting to show itself more openly in my classroom and in my lesson planning, as the kids and I are getting to know each other and exchanging our own, individual wisdoms and curiosities, many of which occur on the reading rug,” explained Tarashuk.

On Feb. 22 at 5 p.m., she will participate in an internet radio interview on Education Talk Radio. The announcement and article also appeared in SmartBrief’s K-20 education newsletter. 

In reflecting on Tarashuk’s award, Wilson Principal Joseph Malanga stated, “Mary is a true professional who is so deserving of this award. She is a dedicated educator who never stops learning herself and who puts her heart and soul into making learning a joy for her students.”