By SHRAAVANI SONTAM ‘22
And the 2021 Edison High School Teacher of the Year is… Mathematics teacher Matthew McGuigan!!!
Not only a Geometry and Algebra 2 teacher but also the school’s football, softball, and strengthening coach, Mr. McGuigan has shown us the dedication and commitment that this honor embodies.
Mr. McGuigan has taught at Edison High School since fall 2013. He received his bachelor of arts in mathematical sciences at Kean University in Union, New Jersey, graduating summa cum laude. Having grown up in Edison and studied in the Edison schools, he discovered that the best way to “make a difference in the world” was by helping students find their own path to success. Each year, he aims to positively influence his students’ lives by providing knowledge and a love of learning that will inspire them to achieve their dreams.
“High school can be a very stressful time especially the days we live in now, and I am a teacher that is here to guide and help them become a better person and achieve success,” Mr. McGuigan said. “Student success is above everything else. When you put the student first everything else falls in place and in turn we as teachers can make the world a better place one student at a time.”
An ardent teacher who genuinely cares for every one of his students, he details a short list of “musts” for a teacher:
- “Have student success as your first priority. Putting the student first and understanding that their success is the ultimate goal is the first step to becoming a great teacher.”
- “Respect is next, build a positive rapport with your students. Have a mutual respect for each other and let your students know that you are there to help them and see them grow.”
- “Lastly, have school spirit. Be an active member of your school. I always say ‘I bleed the red and the gold,’” and any teacher that wants success should do the same with their school community.”
Always giving back to his community, Mr. McGuigan believes that building strong relationships and providing support for students makes teaching a rewarding career. He looks to replicate the positive experiences he had in sports and academics in high school for his students.
“Teaching is a fantastic career,” Mr. McGuigan adds. I wake up happy every day. One of the cool perks with teaching is you still get to coach all the sports you loved to play growing up. You are able to see your students perform outside the classroom and with that build an even stronger relationship with them.”
Beyond his intense involvement in the school community, Mr. McGuigan also has many personal goals for the future, “My fiance [Ms. Bobbi Aker, a health and physical education teacher at John Marshall Elementary School, and an Edison school graduate], our future plans are to start a family and travel.”
Mr. McGuigan reminds us that COVID-19 aside, there’s still a great deal to continue celebrating in our current world: inspiring and dedicated teachers, an active school community, and the support of friends and family close to us.