Boston charter school educator named national teacher of the year

James Vaznis:

Sydney Chaffee’s (center) classroom lessons at Codman Academy Charter School in Dorchester focus on the intersection of history and literature.

By James Vaznis GLOBE STAFF APRIL 20, 2017
At Codman Academy Charter School in Dorchester, Sydney Chaffee likes to put the spotlight on her students during a weekly schoolwide assembly — having them write the scripts, act out the skits, and fully take charge of an event that is integral to the Codman’s identity.

But on Thursday morning, in the midst of school vacation week, it was Chaffee who stepped into the spotlight, with the announcement that she had been named National Teacher of the Year, making her the first Massachusetts educator to receive the top award in teaching.

Chaffee’s selection made history in another way: She appears to be the first charter-school teacher to win, although a handful of those from alternative, magnet, and private schools have received the honor, according to the Council of Chief State School Officers, a professional organization that runs the 65-year-old competition.