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Westlake High English Teacher Wins State, National Awards

Westlake High School teacher Janet Matthews is the recipient of two awards, one state and one national for her excellence in teaching.
Westlake High School teacher Janet Matthews is the recipient of two awards, one state and one national for her excellence in teaching. Photo Credit: Westchester County School Board

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. -- Westlake Middle and High School English teacher Janet Matthews is the 2015 recipient of not one, but two state and national teaching awards.

An always smiling teacher, Matthews received the New York State English Council Fellows Award for continuous service and dedication to English education and the students of New York; and was the national recipient of the 2015 High School Teacher of Excellence Award, presented each year to teachers of English, language arts and literacy, which recognizes outstanding dedication and excellence in teaching.

Matthews, who holds a master's degree in English and administration, is the ELA curriculum coordinator at Westlake High School and has twice been recognized as a nationally certified teacher. With wanderlust and a continual need to learn, she uses her summers to experience new cultures and lands to bring back to her students. Last summer she studied in Indonesia.

Matthews was the catalyst for the first Page to Stage: High School Edition in Westchester County, where professional actors brought her students' written words to life onstage. For over a decade, Matthews has actively been involved in film education at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville. There, she was the recipient of a two-year pilot program in Teaching Technology in the Digital Age and is currently part of a high school cohort exploring the film center’s database on Image, Sound and Story.

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