hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

School News

November 14, 2013

In or out of the classroom, he's tops

Teacher with unique style named Educator of the Year

He stays late after school to give students extra help so they don’t become overwhelmed and drop out.

He plays basketball with them during the day, saying it’s an opportunity for him to connect with them in a different way. Once a week, he takes them to a ropes course to build trust and encourage teamwork.

“It puts kids in a position where, by the end of the program, I’m putting my safety into their hands, and it all transfers back into the classroom,” said Jay Schaefer, a math teacher at the Haverhill Alternative School. “They know I believe in them and that I know they can succeed.”

For going above and beyond for his students, Schaefer was named this year’s Educator of the Year by the Haverhill YMCA.

He is the fifth person to be honored since the program began in 2009.

“Anything beyond being nominated would have been a surprise to me,” Schaefer said. “When they announced the winner, I stood up and began clapping, not realizing it was for myself.”

Schaefer is the first teacher from the Alternative School to receive the honor. The school is for students who have trouble succeeding in a traditional classroom setting and need special attention.

“For me it was kind of neat to have our school recognized in that light, in that it put us on the map in a good way,” Schaefer said.

The YMCA held its annual awards program on Oct. 30 at DiBurro’s function hall, where Schaefer was one of 10 nominees.

“The whole night was about bringing different parts of the school district together to say we all do good work and that we all care about what we do,” Schaefer said.

During the celebration, the YMCA presented its Community Partnership Award to Lester Schindel, its Commitment to Community Award to Andrew Herlihy, and its Volunteer of the Year Award to Sandra Kerwin.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
School News
  • 140415_HG_MSC_ROBOT_4

    MARY SCHWALM/Staff photo Jazzy Brown, 4, of Haverhill, works with a a Robot named Connor as Behavior Specialist Julie Bernier looks on, during an interactive session at the Moody School in Haverhill.

    Their best friend's a robot Posted 2 days ago 5 Photos
  • City's kids are staying in school Posted 37 days ago
  • 140310_ET_RHU_SCOUTS_003

    Bill Cantwell, Haverhill editor of The Eagle-Tribune and editor of The Haverhill Gazette, shows the Cub Scouts of Den 6 Pack 24, Sacred Hearts Parish, Bradford, around the newsroom of The Eagle-Tribune offices and explains how the newspaper is put together. RYAN HUTTON/ Staff photo

    'Cub' reporters learn how the newsroom works Posted 37 days ago 3 Photos
  • Work on new school escalates Posted 44 days ago
  • 140303_ET_RHU_SEUSS_006

    First-graders Ainsley Rousseau, left, and Isabelle Leger, both 7, eat their plates of green eggs and ham and cake.

    A taste of green eggs and ham Posted 44 days ago 6 Photos
  • Thursday, February 27, 2014
  • 140212_ET_RHU_ROBOT_002

    RYAN HUTTON/Staff photo Nicholas Berube, left, 14, fits a plexiglass cover over the electronics of the Whittier team's robot as teammate Grant Montecalro, 15, looks on.

    A boost from NASA Posted 51 days ago 4 Photos
  • Thursday, February 20, 2014
  • 140213_HG_HAND_SEYMOUR_1

    Courtesy photo Whittier Regional High junior Kylie Seymour carries the American flag during the Parade of Nations at the annual World Tap Championships in Germany.

    She's got the beat! Posted 58 days ago 3 Photos
  • NECC employees honored for service Posted 58 days ago
  • 140213_hg_hand_augusto

    HANDOUT PHOTO Northern Essex Community College student Angel Augusto shows his Class of 2014 T-shirt design that won a contest at the school.

    Meet a graduating 'super hero' Posted 58 days ago 1 Photo
  • Thursday, February 13, 2014
  • 140206_HG_MSC_NETTLE_2

    Nettle School teacher Michelle Joubert shows off her classroom, which is a freshly painted.

    12 years old, but just like new Posted 65 days ago 2 Photos

Photos of the Week
Stocks