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SOPC Instructor and DESE Coordinator honored with Educational Excellence Award

award recipient Shannon Dion
From left: Southwick Regional School Principal Joseph Turmel, SRS Adjustment Counselor and Grinspoon Award recipient Shannon Dion, and Superintendent Jennifer Willard.

Shannon Dion, Southwick Regional School adjustment counselor and Cambridge College Senior Instructor and DESE Coordinator, received the Grinspoon Award, a Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award earlier this month. This prestigious award is given to two educators each year to honor their work with students.

The school district orchestrated a spirited ceremony at Southwick Regional School in Massachusetts, where both award recipients teach. The Southwick Regional School marching band lined up and marched through the halls of both schools while playing some of their learned music, leading up to the two teachers’ rooms where they were presented with the awards.

awardSuperintendent Jennifer Willard said that Dion earned her award because of her “calming force” and willingness to assist students through difficult situations.

“Ms. Dion joined the district in 2016, and during her time here, she has made connections with students and staff and is well-respected,” said Willard, “She is a calming force that is sought out by colleagues, parents, and students.”

Dion, also through brief happy tears, thanked her colleagues and students for making the work she does worthwhile.

“I could not do it without my colleagues and the kids that I work with. I love being here and I love doing what I do,” said Dion, “Somebody maybe enjoyed my sassy sense of humor.”

The Grinspoon Awards, named for philanthropist Harold Grinspoon, are meant to celebrate teachers and faculty that go above and beyond for students and demonstrate excellence in teaching practices throughout the Pioneer Valley.

Learn about the Cambridge College School Adjustment & Mental Health Counseling Master's Degree.