School District Names Shannon Bakaysa Teacher Of The Year
Plainville Community Schools has named Linden Street School Kindergarten Teacher Shannon Bakaysa as the 2024-2025 Teacher of the Year. Bakaysa was nominated by Linden Street School faculty member and colleague, Cassandra Smith-Johnson.
The Plainville school district continued a tradition that began in 2022 honoring a school based teacher of the year in each of the five Plainville schools, in addition to ultimately selecting a district teacher of the year. The school based honorees were considered for the district recognition, and nominations had to reflect how candidates have demonstrated the school district’s core Portrait of the Graduate tenets, including being communicative, collaborative, innovative, mindful and resilient. The candidates were evaluated by the district’s Teacher of the Year Committee, and ultimately selected Bakaysa as the 2024-25 Plainville Community Schools Teacher of the Year. Building level Teachers of the Year include: Kevin Levesque, Plainville High School, Kim Coyle, Middle School of Plainville, Daria Sargent, Louis Toffolon Elementary School, Shannon Calabro, Wheeler School, and Shannon Bakaysa, Linden Street School.
Bakaysa has been a teacher at Linden Street School for the past 12 years. She began her first 4 years as a 3rd grade teacher and then moved into kindergarten for the past 8 years, where her heart is. In addition, she is TEAM certified and has been a mentor for several teachers in the Plainville school district, and has welcomed high school students into her classroom who are interested in exploring a career in Education.
 Bakaysa demonstrates all of the district’s Portrait of the Graduate tenets, with many examples cited in her nomination written by colleague Cassandra Smith-Johnson, including being communicative, collaborative, innovative, mindful and resilient. “She has been an exemplary educator in the district for many years and goes above and beyond for her students, their families, and for fellow staff and colleagues. She is always following the current research of best practice to strengthen her instruction, and shares that knowledge with her team and when participating in the Curriculum Academy for the district,” explained Smith-Johnson. “She builds a great rapport with parents every year and continues those relationships with families and students throughout the years. She is so kind, patient and fun with students; they absolutely adore her and the community of learners and friends they create is all due to her leadership and influence.”   
        As Teacher of the Year in Plainville, Bakaysa will also participate as a candidate for Connecticut’s 2024 Teacher of the Year Program. Each district Teacher of the Year will be individually recognized later this year by the Connecticut Department of Education.
“I am honored to represent our district as Teacher of the Year and am flattered that my fellow colleagues chose me. This is a profession that is not always easy, but is always fulfilling and it is truly where I belong. I could not be here without the amazing support of everyone who walks through the doors of Linden every day. It truly takes a village! I will continue to strive to commit myself to growth (for my students and my own teaching) and foster a love for learning that extends far beyond the walls of my classroom.” said Bakaysa.
“This is always such a difficult process to select one winner, because we have so many incredible educators in the Plainville Community Schools.  Shannon was ultimately selected by a committee of her peers based on her incredible resume and passion for teaching,” noted Assistant Superintendent of Schools, David Levenduski.
“Mrs. Bakaysa epitomizes the compassionate and talented teacher,” commented Superintendent of Schools, Brian Reas.
Bakaysa holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut in Human Development and Family Studies and a master’s degree from The University of Bridgeport in Elementary Education. She will be honored at the June 10th Plainville Board of Education meeting.