Monday, June 12, 2023

Watertown Public Schools is pleased to announce that Ms. Janet Sweetland, Science teacher at Swift Middle School, has been named the 2023-2024 District Teacher of the Year.  District and Swift Middle School administrators, colleagues, students and Ms. Sweetland’s family surprised Ms. Sweetland in her classroom with this exciting news on Monday, June 12, 2023.

Ms. Sweetland is a proud Sacred Heart High School Alumni, class of 1993!  Ms.Sweetland then graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social and Rehabilitation Service with a concentration in Speech Pathology and a Minor in Education from Assumption College, in Worcester Massachusetts in 1997.   Ms. Sweetland continued on at the University of New Haven, and received a Master of Science Degree in Secondary Education in 2000. Ms.Sweetland began her career in Watertown Public Schools in 2000, and has been with us ever since.  Ms. Sweetland is currently a sixth grade Science Teacher at Swift Middle School, where she also serves as the Science Department Head and Co-Team Leader for the sixth grade red team.  

In addition to teaching Science, Ms. Sweetland contributes to the school community in countless ways.  She helps to transition new teachers into the field as a Teacher Education and Mentoring Program (TEAM) Mentor and Cooperating Teacher.  Ms. Sweetland strongly supports extracurricular activities through her involvement, including sixth grade parent orientation, sixth grade student orientation, eighth grade dance, graduation, SBAC pep rally contributor and participant and TEAM day activities, to name a few.  Ms. Sweetland likewise coordinates one of Swift’s most popular evening events, the Annual Family STEM/STEAM Night, in addition to coordinating sixth grade Science Fairs.  

Ms. Sweetland's sincere and humble nature is refreshing.  She builds strong relationships with students and works tirelessly to ensure her students feel engaged and supported.  She is a highly skilled, dedicated and student-centered educator!    

Ms.Sweetland will represent Watertown in the State of Connecticut Teacher of the Year Program for 2023-2024.  We wish her the best of luck in this endeavor.

We have exceptional staff in Watertown Public Schools.  The Teacher of the Year Program allows us to honor the efforts of all of our classroom teachers by selecting one representative of our excellent teaching staff.  However, we would be remiss if we didn’t seize this opportunity to recognize the other spectacular nominees for Teacher of the Year 2023-2024:

  • Ashley Coon, Literacy Specialist, Polk School

  • Cathy Gancher, Special Education Teacher, John Trumbull Primary School

  • Jennifer Gruettner, Fourth Grade Teacher, Judson School

  • Dawn LaChapelle, PreK Teacher, John Trumbull Primary School

  • Patty Long-Smith, Speech and Language Pathologist, John Trumbull Primary School

  • Thomas Matthews, Computer Technology Education, Watertown High School

  • Stephanie Milo, Grade 5 Teacher, Polk School

  • Paula Puma, Special Education Teacher, Watertown High School

  • Kelly Raimo, English Teacher, Watertown High School

  • Kathleen Sklanka, Science Teacher, Swift Middle School