A dedicated and compassionate teacher, Gregory Walton was recently honored with the 2014 Excellence in Teaching award at the 2014 Annual maaps (Massachusetts Association of 766 Approved Private Schools) Conference for his skill in teaching students who have learning and behavioral challenges.
Walton, who lives in Auburn, has been a teacher at the Crossroads School in Natick for eight years, and his colleagues and students wrote several letters of praise to nominate him for the award. maaps held its annual conference at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel and Trade Center in Marlborough on May 16.
In his nomination letter, Crossroads Executive Director Dr. Anthony Cammilleri wrote: “Greg Walton has undoubtedly been an integral part of making Crossroads School what it is today. Greg’s enormous impact on the lives of students is both meaningful and far-reaching.”
Michele Brock, an Educational and Behavioral Services Coordinator at Crossroads, credits Walton for striking the delicate balance of having a friendly, humorous rapport with students while also maintaining control and respect within the classroom. He also has a knack for building up the staff around him. “He helps foster a learning environment in his classrooms for not only the students but the staff as well. “Therefore, by teaching other teachers to be like him, he is indirectly impacting the lives of students he will never meet. I feel that this is the sign of a truly great teacher,” Brock wrote.
“We are very proud to honor Greg Walton for his inspiring and remarkable work,” added maaps Executive Director James V. Major. “maaps member schools teachers and staff work tirelessly to provide high-quality educational experiences to their students. Greg’s devotion to teaching, to his students and to Crossroads embodies these efforts and serves as a great example to his entire profession.”
The Massachusetts Association of 766 Approved Private Schools (maaps) is a non-profit association whose member schools provide educational programs and services to students with special needs throughout Massachusetts. The schools operate over 150 day and residential programs and schools, providing education and treatment to over 5,300 Massachusetts students with disabilities. They also bring in over $189 million into the Commonwealth’s economy in tuition payments from 1,400 out-of-state students, and employ over 10,000 teachers, clinicians, residential care and other staff. For many of the students, maaps schools represent their first real opportunity for hope, achievement and to become productive members of society.