Trumbull’s Teacher of the Year Vies for State Title

Carley Berlin ’14

A life-size poster of Drew Brees, Super Bowl-winning quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, poses in the corner of his room. Newspaper clippings of his favorite team cover the walls. The dry-erase board shows the Saints’ record for the season. It is clear that Brees is an inspiration to Eric August, a Trumbull High School teacher.

August has been named ‘Teacher of the Year’ in Trumbull, Connecticut for the year 2013.

Eric August started teaching at THS six years ago. First an attorney, he switched his profession to help students. “I loved the interaction between students and the idea that you’re helping the next generation,” said August.

August teaches Honors Political Science, Honors Justice and Law, and Global Civilizations. After school, he is an advisor for the nationally-ranked Mock Trial team, assistant coach for baseball, boys’ freshmen basketball coach, and Powder Puff coach.

Brandon Wong, a senior at THS, is taking his first class with August this year. Although hesitant at first by the first period Honors Political Science class, Wong loves the course. He wishes he took Justice and Law, another class taught by August.

“He makes each lesson fun,” said Wong. “I learn something new every class.”

No wonder August won the title of ‘Teacher of the Year’. However, he modestly said, “This award doesn’t mean that I’m the best teacher. It merely recognizes the amazing efforts and contributions of this school.”

This recognition brought him additional attention at the state level and has earned him a position as a semi-finalist in the state-wide ‘Teacher of the Year’ competition. In late September, August underwent additional scrutiny with interviews at Trumbull High School as well as in Hartford. He and the entire Trumbull community anxiously await a decision by the state board.

Kathleen Boland, a co-worker of August, was ‘Teacher of the Year’ last year. At the interviews in Hartford, they asked questions about her philosophy of education, the origin of her passion with teaching, current education trends, how to keep students engaged, and ways to encourage parental participation.

“Mr. August is absolutely a good choice for this award,” said Boland. “Outside of school, he dedicates so much to the Mock Trial program. And in class, he’s full of energy all the time.”

When asked what advice she has for her colleague, Boland said to just be himself and be confident.

“This selection is merely a representation of how great the teachers are at THS. They are as much a part of this award as I am,” said August.

“Sometimes all you need is just for somebody to believe in you in order to be able to accomplish maybe what you never thought you could,” reads a quote from Drew Brees’ website.

This is exactly what August is realizing today.

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