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March and April Teachers of the Month honored

by Gordy Stillman / New Jersey Devils
Physical Education teacher Schuyler Fannell and Technology Facilitator Lori Princiotto prepare to ride onto the ice aboard the New Jersey Devils' zambonis. The two teachers were recognized as the team's Teachers of the Month on April 7. Photo by Patrik Dodson

The New Jersey Devils honored teachers Schuyler Fannell and Lori Princiotto as the team’s teachers of the month for March and April, respectively, on April 7 as the team faced the Lightning at Prudential Center. The two educators, who both utilize the NHL’s Hockey Scholar program developed by Everfi, were the final recipients for the season.

Fannell, a Physical Education teacher at the Heywood Ave School in Orange, uses his class to teach students practical application of hockey skills after they’d learn the concepts through the Hockey Scholar course. “They learn about passing and shooting…strength and conditioning as well,” Fanell explained. Fannell said at times it can be hard to integrate technology, a key aspect of the 21st century, into his curriculum, but Hockey Scholar naturally bridges the gap.

Four years into his teaching career, Fannell said his path toward education began in high school when his English teacher gave students the chance to lead the class for a day. Fannell explained that it made him realize teaching could be a profession for him.

Princiotto was first introduced to the prospect of teaching by her mother, who was once a chemistry teacher. “We used to always ‘play school’ and I just feel [teaching] is part of me,” Princiotto said. Now, with more than 20 years of experience as a teacher, mostly at Short Hills’ Glenwood School, Princiotto teaches students and other educators how to use technology.

Part of Princiotto’s role as her school’s technology facilitator is to help cover Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, collectively known as STEM. A key element of the hockey scholar program is introducing students to STEM topics, which are expected to become increasingly important in the 21st century.

At Glenwood, Princiotto uses the Hockey Scholar course with her fifth grade students, having the children work through online games and activities as well as offline supplemental material. “They’ve been doing it for about a month now,” Princiotto said before adding she hopes to purchase pucks and add labs to her curriculum for next year.

In both schools, the teachers of the month said students enjoy the course and get excited on Hockey Scholar days. “They literally cheer when we tell them that they will be working in the activities. You can hear a pin drop when they are working in the program,” Princiotto said. “I have never seen that before.”

As part of their recognition, both Fannell and Princiotto rode around the ice on the Zambonis during an intermission, an experience they won’t soon forget. Princiotto saw fellow teachers and friends in Section 6, who use the Devils’ other educational initiative, the “Stick With It” reading program, in their classrooms. For Fannell, the view caught him by surprise. “Just seeing the amount of people that were there, the players probably take it for granted, that it’s just an amazing view, just to be playing in front of that many people,” he said.

For more information on the Hockey Scholar program, please visit www.everfi.com/hockeyscholar. Hockey Scholar and Future Goals, along with the team’s “Stick With It” reading incentive system, encompass the Devils’ Achievement in Academics initiative, which supports thousands of New Jersey students through hockey each year.

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