Clintondale teachers receive countywide recognition

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published April 26, 2019

 Fiori

Fiori

 Maas

Maas

 Procissi

Procissi

Advertisement

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Three Clintondale Community Schools teachers were recently honored among the best teachers in Macomb County.

On April 17, at the Macomb Intermediate School District in Clinton Township, the Macomb County Association of School Administrators and the Macomb County Association of Curriculum Administrators provided elementary, middle and high school teachers with a special distinction.

The Clintondale teachers honored were Kris Procissi, Thomas Fiori and Dawn Maas.

Procissi has spent her entire 18-year teaching career in the district, teaching students from kindergarten to fifth grade. For the past two years, she has been the reading specialist at McGlinnen Elementary.

She described herself as that student who “had to give 110%” to just get a B or C grade in elementary school. She later discovered a passion to find strengths in students and push them to recognize their abilities.

“Watching students academically and socially grow by recognizing their strengths and ability, and believing in themselves, is a personal and professional reward every time,” she said.

When it comes to the biggest challenges that teachers like her face, Procissi said it’s that the job of a teacher does not end when the final school bell rings. It also goes beyond analyzing individual learning data or preparing students for state-mandated testing.

“Teachers’ jobs go far beyond and above,” she said. “Social worker, psych educator and counselor represent only a few of the hats that teachers are expected to wear throughout the day. In order to help their students, they feel compelled to adopt these roles themselves, even though they don’t have the proper training. They still do it, though, because they care.”

Fiori has taught for 20 years. Currently, he teaches Algebra II and pre-calculus to juniors, and calculus to seniors.

“The greatest gift a professional can be given is the opportunity to do what they love,” Fiori said. “That opportunity has been given to me through my career as a math teacher.

“The relationships I have made over the years with students, staff, parents and other members of our school community have had a huge impact on my life professionally and personally. I have had the great opportunity to work with a diverse range of learners from diverse experiences and backgrounds.”

His co-workers and fellow staffers are his “sounding boards, resources and friends,” he said.

Maas has taught for 28 years, including 24 at Clintondale. She teaches physical education at Clintondale Middle School, as well as coaching eighth-grade volleyball, seventh- and eighth-grade boys track, and is a student council adviser.

She said challenges include keeping up with changes made to the overall education system, as well as the emphasis on standardized testing.

“I got into teaching because of some awesome teachers and coaches I had in my middle school and high school years,” Maas said. “I started coaching AAU volleyball and was the assistant coach of my high school volleyball team as soon as I graduated. The joy I got seeing these students succeed was such a great feeling. I knew then I wanted to continue working with kids.”

Advertisement