Milford’s 2019 teacher of the year is not only a science teacher at Jonathan Law High School, he’s also a fisherman, a rapper, a husband and father, and now even a boat captain.
Michael Morazzini, 35, was named the district teacher of the year during a ceremony May 28 at the Parsons Government Center.
Morazzini has been teaching 13 years at Law, starting right out of college. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biology education and master’s degree in education from Southern Connecticut State University. He teaches biology, and sometimes environmental science and marine science.
Jonathan Law High School Principal Fran Thompson described Morazzini as a selfless educator who consistently puts his students first, and who shares his passion for fishing with students as advisor of the school’s fishing club.
A quote by Greek author Nikos Kazantzakis embodies what Morazzini is all about, Thompson said: “True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create their own.”
Morazzini’s wife, Margaret, is also a Milford teacher, and they have two sons, Wesley, 5 and Carlo, 4, who go to school in Milford. Thompson said Morazzini’s devotion to his family drives his desire to be a great school teacher.
And his love for fishing drives a lot of what he’s all about too. He became interested in science through fishing, noting that “fishing is a very scientific endeavor and it involves directly interacting with nature and biology.”
Morazzini grew up in Woodmont and now lives by Gulf Beach. He started fishing with his uncle and father when he was a kid. When he attended Foran High School, he was also enrolled in the regional aquaculture program for students interested in science and the sea. That’s about the time he started sharing songs he wrote with family, then made recordings, eventually burning a CD.
In 2009, he released a full-length fishing hip-hop/rap album called Angler Talk.
His second album, Droppin’ Lines, was released on iTunes and anglersmusic.com in 2017.
“I am still the rapping fisherman, but I've been dormant since the last album,” Morazzini said last week, shortly after being named teacher of the year.
“Just been very busy with family, fishing, teaching etc.,” he said, adding that last year he became a United States Coast Guard licensed captain and in the summer he runs fishing charters out of Old Saybrook.
Morazzini said it is a great honor to be named district teacher of the year.
“It is especially gratifying being a product of the Milford school system, being born and raised in Milford and representing the city on the shoreline which I love most and am proud to call home,” Morazzini said. “I am also humbled to receive this honor in light of the countless exceptional teachers and leaders who I work with, have learned so much from and still aspire to be like every day. “
Carol Gosselin from East Shore Middle School was named the district’s paraprofessional of the year during the May 28 ceremony.
According to Principal Shannan Carlson, Gosselin has been a paraprofessional in Milford for 30 years, 20 at East Shore.
Carlson said Gosselin has always demonstrated patience and a tough love approach with students.
Parent of the year is Augie Harrigan, a parent from Harborside Middle School.
Harrigan is very involved in local education, including the Milford Invention Convention.
Harborside Principal Steve Gottlieb said Harrigan is an outstanding example of how parents should be involved in their child’s education and lives.
“Presently, Augie is the PTO treasurer for Harborside and a board member for the Milford Education Foundation, where he is a great promoter and advocate for teachers expanding their learning, all in the name of students,” Gottlieb said. “He is a parent volunteer for the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestra and has helped the Harborside Sea Perch robotics team secure a pool for training.”