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For her 44 years of commitment to the students at Arlington School, Deborah Gantz was honored with the Massachusetts Association of 766 Approved Private Schools (maaps) Excellence in Teaching Award for 2018. A special needs teacher and school librarian at Arlington School, Gantz accepted her award at the maaps 40th Annual Conference, held in Marlborough, Massachusetts, on May 4, 2018.
In nominating Gantz, Arlington School Director Suzanne Loughlin, APRN, BC, described her colleague as an “exceptionally approachable and highly effective” teacher. “Debbie is a beloved colleague, bighearted, fun to work with, and inclusive of all staff and all ideas,” Loughlin said. “Arlington School is very fortunate to call Debbie one of our own, and we feel that she truly embodies each of the core values that are central to our school mission.”
Gantz, who started at Arlington School at age 21 as a librarian, has worked in a number of roles at the school during her career. She has taught TV production, media, film, fiction, English, research, and psychology, and she has worked in school administration and career education. In addition, Gantz serves as co-chair of the self-study for the upcoming ten-year accreditation review for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), and she is a board member for the Arlington School and the McLean Hospital Employee Child Care Center.
Gantz said winning the Excellence in Teaching Award was “both humbling and amazing.” “Most of us come to school every day and do our jobs, and the rewards we get are mainly from the kids,” she said. “Still, it’s really nice to be recognized in front of your peers.”
Founded in 1978, maaps is a statewide association of approved private special education schools dedicated to providing educational programs and services to students with special needs. The group represents 85 member schools serving some 7,000 children with special needs from Massachusetts, other states, and countries.