Tenth-grade English teacher Brittany Matsushino is a dedicated, spirited, and inspired leader who has taken Cienega High School to new levels.
With six years of education under her belt, Matsushino’s classroom is driven by high expectations and clear standards and goals. She puts a laser focus on achievement, propelling her students to mastery using higher-order questioning techniques, engaging content and a persistence to ensure full understanding. An example is a HALAMA (Historical/Literary/Movie Analysis) project Matsushino coordinates, which combines reading, research, analysis and presentations. Students read about a real-life hero of their choice and analyze how the time affected that person’s life.
Matsushino has a keen eye for identifying students’ strengths and areas of need, and makes herself available after hours to work with students on improving their skills and helping them to grasp material.
Junior-year teachers praise her former students’ abilities to comprehend text and come into the grade well-prepared. Her students’ 2014 state AIMS reading scores were at 89% passing, as compared to the state average of 28%, and 76% passing for writing, compared to the state average of 39%.
Matsushino is the heart of school spirit at Cienega. She is a student council teacher and during the 2014-15 school year, served as co-sponsor of the student council. In this capacity, she spent hours coordinating student events and took enthusiasm and morale to unprecedented levels. Student council members put their trust in her to apply real-life solutions to council problems and teach them to make business decisions. She also organized, maintained and ran all club charters and fundraiser approvals.
To fellow faculty, Matsushino has been a cognitive coach and mentor. She has provided crucial guidance to new teachers and has helped them become acclimated to Cienega’s culture. Consistently seeking opportunities to make the campus a better place, Matsushino has served as the voice of teachers on the school’s site council for the past two years, on which she has helped shape rules and policies to benefit Cienega’s future.
Matsushino’s commitment to excellence has extended to the district, state and beyond. Through her role as a coordinator for the district’s Beyond Textbooks (BT) instructional program, she provided professional development on its teaching and learning frameworks. The district’s partners on the program include more than 100 school districts and charter schools across Arizona, California, Idaho and Wyoming.
Matsushino earned her bachelor’s in secondary education from Arizona State University and is pursuing a master’s at Concordia University - Portland in educational leadership.
"I love working with teenagers and helping them to become the adults that I know they can be [and] that they think they can be."..." (read more)
Nov 20, 2015
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