Music teacher wins ‘Thank A Teacher’ contest

Todd Silvius of the Sixth Grade Center is one of 20 teachers nationwide to receive the honor.
Posted on 12/01/2020
Todd Silvius works with two students during a summer camp in 2018.By Gary Weckselblatt

Sixth Grade Center music teacher and band director Todd Silvius is one of 20 standout teachers nationwide to win the Staples “Thank A Teacher” contest, which comes with $5,000 in Staples gift cards for the school to use on school supplies.

“I still can’t believe it,” Mr. Silvius said. “It was really an honor to be nominated. To be selected, wow! Anyone in public education, the administration, teachers, support staff, district office, they are all deserving of this. I’m really fortunate the award is able to come here, where we can purchase things for this building.”

Mr. Silvius, who has been with the Quakertown Community School District since 2004, was nominated for the award by Nicole Hazelwood, a former QCSD employee who is a special education teacher at Marple Newtown High School. They had been talking over the summer and she was impressed with things Mr. Silvius was creating for his virtual classroom to enhance the learning experience for students.

“Todd is such a wealth of knowledge that translates into helping everyone around him,” she said. “I’m in awe of the kind of effort he gives so the kids get everything they deserve. He is an amazing teacher.”

Erin Oleksa-Carter, the district’s Supervisor of Literacy, Fine Arts, and ELD PK-12, agreed. “As the QCSD content specialist for music, Todd has worked tirelessly to bring the department together to collaborate around our Health and Safety Plan, curriculum development, and various options for student performance. His enthusiasm and passion for music education is endless. Additionally, Todd is always willing to help colleagues in his building and works hard to ensure that all students receive high quality instruction, even during a pandemic.”

In a press release, Mike Motz, Staples Chief Executive Officer, stated “It’s undeniable that this school year will look different for everyone. Staples knows that teachers will need our support more than ever – whether they’re teaching in the classroom, remotely or a combination of both. We wanted to provide a platform this year to allow both students and parents to celebrate their teachers by sharing personal stories of gratitude and appreciation.”

Actress and comedian Angela Kinsey, well known for her role as Angela Martin in “The Office, was the keynote speaker at the recent online event to announce the winners.

Mr. Silvius said he was “embarrassingly giddy” sharing the computer screen with her.

“I want to thank everyone at the Sixth Grade Center, for what they do day in and day out. It’s the greatest team effort,” Mr. Silvius said. “We all put our different abilities together for the benefit of the kids.”

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at gweckselblatt@qcsd.org.
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