Afternoon Inspiration: Joe Masiello at DSCC Leadership Luncheon

Joe Masiello, or “Mr. Mazz,” as his students call him, had members of the Chamber smiling, tearing up, laughing and self-evaluating before all were on their feet giving him a standing ovation for his short but effective speech at today’s Leadership Luncheon event. Over 80 members of the business and education communities gathered at the DuPont Country Club to hear the 2011 Delaware Teacher of the Year give his inspirational talk.

Deputy Secretary of Education Dan Cruce introduces Joe Masiello

Deputy Secretary of Education Dan Cruce introduces Joe Masiello

Mr. Mazz teaches sixth grade English at Cab Calloway School of the Arts and has been there since 1992. With 28 years of of teaching behind him, he has learned to utilize three tools that he says will help anyone be a good teacher or leader.

 The first is innovation – the ability to take something old and make it new. He creates songs and dances with his students to learn and retain new words and their meanings. Second is motivation – give students a reason to learn. By making subjects relevant to the lives of his students, they then want to learn what he’s teaching. “You need to make it relevant or they won’t buy in,” he says. The last tool is creativity – presenting material in a different way. Mr. Mazz incorporates songs, costumes and other unconventional means to pique students’ interest.

Joe with Students from Cab Calloway

Mr. Mazz with Students from Cab Calloway

 Mr. Mazz is the 47th teacher to win the Delaware Teacher of the Year award and has also been named Cab Calloway’s Teacher of the Year in 2006 and 2008. His “Wall Word Song” has been featured on NBC and he has won two Fulbright Scholarships that have taken him to Japan and England. His commitment o community service is demonstrated by his involvement with Stockings for Soldiers, Count Us in Day, Sneakers for Africa Day and teaching in Haiti, among others.  Mr. Mazz obtained his Bachelor of Arts in education from the University of Delaware and his Masters in education from Wilmington University.

As Teacher of the Year, Mr. Mazz serves as the public voice and representative for Delaware’s Teachers.

From Left: John Taylor, Delaware Public Policy Institute Executive Director; Dan Cruce, Delaware Department of Education Deputy Secretary/Chief of Staff; Joe Masiello, 2011 Teacher of the Year of Cab Calloway School of the Arts; Cabella Calloway Langsam, Development Chair of the Cab Calloway School Fund; and Joseph Masiello, father of Joe Masiello

 Other advice Mr. Mazz offered was to never make assumptions, always do your best, take nothing personally and to always be sincere with your words. He finished by performing part of this year’s “Wall Word Song” with one of his students, the ones we caught were luguborious, antithesis and copious. To finish, New Castle County Council President, Tom Kovach presented him with a New Castle County Tribute, thanking him for being an inspiration to all of us.

And we do thank him dearly for all of his hard work and terrific leadership and for setting a great example for not only his students, but for all of us to follow.

We would also like to thank our event’s sponsors: Bank of America, Delmarva Power, Wilmington University and The News Journal, as well as all of our attendees! Thanks for a great event! See our Facebook page for more photos.

Check out this link for an interview with Joe by The Community News, article by Antonio Prado.

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