Melissa Butler – Middle School Teacher of the Year

Who needs an Oscar when you can win a Bammy!

A Bammy is an award presented to the best educators in the United States. Out of hundreds of nominees from across the country, only 25 were chosen in 2014. Only three educators were selected from New Jersey.

On Sept. 27th, the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences bestowed this great honor on one of SOMS own, Melissa Butler, a 6th grade language arts teacher. Ms. Butler received the Bammy for Middle School Teacher of the Year and was celebrated for her dedication and creativity at a red carpet ceremony in Washington D.C.

Ms. Butler is a strong proponent of technology in the classroom to enhance student learning and prepare students for the future. Last year, Ms. Butler’s 6th grade class conducted virtual debates with students in other schools using Google Hangout, a free, video chat and instant messaging platform that can be used by multiple parties. “My goal is to teach my students the technology that will help them acquire the skills they need to survive in this technologically-driven economy,” said Ms. Butler.

The Bammy awards were created to reverse the negative national narrative that dominates the education field. “There is so much to celebrate in our profession,” said Ms. Butler. “The Bammy awards brought forth the chance to celebrate all that is right in education.”

And if one SOMS teacher to receive the coveted Bammy was not enough, SOMS former librarian, Elissa Malespina, was also awarded the Bammy. Ms. Malespina’s Bammy was for Best School Librarian.

For more info on the Bammy awards go to

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