A Jamaican, Garfield Pilliner, was named the New Haven Public Schools Teacher Of The Year 2014 in Connecticut, USA.


New Haven Public Schools Teacher Of The Year 2014 Garfield Pilliner in his classroom. (PHOTO: New Haven Register)

The New Haven Register reports that Pillner, who teaches the 9th year at Engineering Science University Magnet School (ESUMS), was “surprised” and “humbled” when he was informed of his nomination.

Teachers are nominated by principals, assistant principals, curriculum supervisors, and directors, with teacher evaluation rating also factored in, the New Haven Register says.

The finalists are then interviewed by a committee comprising administrators and former recipients.

Pillner has been teaching for 10 years but only at ESUMS since 2009.

The New Haven Register reports that during his last two years at the University of New Haven, Pilliner worked as a junior electrical engineer at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in Trumbull.

After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in 2001, Pilliner continued working as an engineer but started to question whether he was in the right part of the field. He started tutoring and volunteering on the side until deciding to take a long-term substitute position in Bridgeport.

He then joined the engineering school’s team.

Students describe Pilliner as “funny”, “engaging” and “encouraging” according to the New Haven Register.