Press Release – CT Excellence in Science Teaching Award


On May 4, 2024, Sally Chaves received the Connecticut Science Teachers’ Association Excellence in Science Teaching- Elementary School award for 2024. This prestigious award recognizes teachers for excellence in science education. Upon learning of this award, Mrs. Chaves said “I am grateful for the opportunities that Farmington has provided me to improve my own practice. I was encouraged to think out of the box and be innovative. This allowed my students to view themselves as scientists in the true sense of the word.”

Throughout her 23-year career as a teacher in Farmington, Sally Chaves has demonstrated a spirit of innovation, discovery, love of nature, and deep care for all students. One of Sally’s most powerful impacts on the district has been her introduction of Forest Kindergarten to West District School. In initiating this work in the 2019-2020 school year, she created an avenue for students to practice habits of stewardship and service to their community. In Forest Kindergarten, Sally cultivates an appreciation of nature and helps children develop a sense of responsibility for the care and protection of our Earth. She leverages both play and learning experiences in the forest to support students’ mental, social, and emotional health and well-being.

Board Chair Bill Beckert shared, “Sally Chaves is an extraordinary teacher and deeply caring individual. Her focus on the best interests of our youngest students has been modeled throughout her career and has impacted the lives of her students and colleagues alike. In Farmington, we are very fortunate to have the very best educators in Connecticut and beyond. Sally is someone who consistently exhibits excellence in her role and the
Board of Education is thrilled that she is being recognized as an outstanding early childhood educator in the area of Science.”

Kathleen Greider, Superintendent of the Farmington Public Schools, says “Sally Chaves is an innovative and superb educator who shares her impressive expertise in the areas of early childhood education, outdoor learning and science inquiry generously with her colleagues at West District Elementary School and throughout the school district. Sally is student-centered in all aspects of her work and celebrates the unique gifts and talents of each child. We are so proud to celebrate Sally and her stellar career within the Farmington Public Schools through this prestigious and well-deserved recognition.”

Carolyn Fink, Principal of West District School, adds “Sally is a role model and leader among her colleagues. She has supported teachers in exploring the benefits of outdoor learning on students’ social/emotional well-being, creativity, self-regulation, and innovation. She is an exemplary teacher of children and colleagues alike and has created a lasting impact on the community of learners at West District School. We are thrilled that
Sally is being honored by the Connecticut Science Teachers Association for her tremendous work in our school and community.”

Mrs. Chaves will be honored at the Connecticut Science Teacher Association’s celebration at Sacred Heart University on May 15, 2024.

Farmington Public Schools are delayed two hours due to inclement weather. No morning preschool. Farmington EXCL is open at its standard locations and time.