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Hartford Honors Its Teacher of the Year: Mario Marrero

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It is one thing for a teacher to believe that every child can learn. It is quite another for a teacher to persuade every one of his students that they can learn. Mario Marrero, a fourth-grade teacher at the Betances STEM Magnet School, is precisely that kind of teacher, according to colleagues.

“He always sets high expectations for his students, not only in their academics, but in their behavior,” said fellow teacher Melissa Rodriguez. “They are like small soldiers as they walk through the hallways and into their room.”

Born in Hartford to a family of teachers, Marrero received his primary middle and high school education in South Windsor. During his college years, Marrero studied in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, and graduated from Southwestern Adventist University in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

He joined the teaching staff at Hartford Public Schools right from college and has so made a difference in the lives of the city’s children that he has been named Hartford’s 2013 Teacher of the Year.

The surprise announcement was made at the annual Hartford Public Schools Teacher of the Year dinner banquet held at The Marriott Hartford Downtown Hotel in Hartford.

“Teaching is my passion and I take pride and joy in what I do,” Marrero says. “We are in the exciting position of being able to shape and mold our future.”

Mr. Marrero began his career in education as a sixth grade teacher at what was then known as the Annie Fisher Magnet School of Multiple Intelligences. After two years at Fisher, he accepted a position as a third-grade teacher at Milner Core Knowledge Academy. Throughout his four years at Milner, he taught third and fifth grade. Mr. Marrero also spent his after school hours tutoring and coaching the middle grades basketball team. He credits his time at Milner for making him the teacher that he is today.

At Betances STEM Magnet School, where he plays an important role in the integration of technology in the classroom, Marrero is also the Lead Teacher of the Science Department, where he and his colleagues create inquiry-based lessons to help provide rigorous, hands-on learning experiences for their students.

“Treat education like a free buffet,” Mr. Marrero tells his students. “Get as much out of it as you can.”

A resident of Avon, Mr. Marrero belongs to the Connecticut Valley Seventh Day Adventist Church, where he has taught Sabbath school, played various roles in the annual Christmas musical and sings in the church choir.

Featured Photo: Mario Marrero, 2013 HPS Teacher of the Year, (seated center) Photo Courtesy of Hartford Public School.
Inset Photo: Photo: Mario Marrerro, 2013 HPS Teacher of the Year, (left) Robert Cotto, Jr. Hartford Board of Education Secretary (middle), Keith Sevigny, 2012 HPS Teacher of the Year. (right). Photo Courtesy of Robert Cotto, Jr.

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