Craig Topolski, a reading teacher at Floyd Light Middle School, has been named one of only six recipients of the prestigious 2016 180 Educator Awards. The awards, now in their tenth year, honor educators across the United States for helping struggling students turn their lives around by building their reading and math literacy.
Mr. Topolski stood out in the application process for the gains his students have achieved despite the challenges they face, from high student mobility and noteworthy linguistic diversity to one of the state’s largest Title X populations.
“My expectations are high for all of my students and I believe in growth and achievement,” says Mr. Topolski. “Students in my class ‘buy in,’ believe in themselves and express pride in the gains they make.”
Students appreciate Mr. Topolski for “keeping it positive” and maintaining an earnest, honest and appreciative classroom environment. Always open to collaboration and feedback, Mr. Topolski actively engages in conversation with his colleagues, as well as frequent self-reflection, to ensure that all of his students are on the path to success.
Mr. Topolski will receive an invitation to attend the 24th annual Model Schools Conference in June, where an award ceremony will be held to recognize his achievements. He will also receive an additional library of HMH titles for his classroom that will be selected specifically for his students’ ages and reading levels.
Craig Topolski has spent his entire 10-year David Douglas career teaching at Floyd Light, where he has been an ESOL, grade 6 and Read 180 instructor. During this Teacher Appreciation Week, we offer a huge congratulations to one of our finest.