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WA's Peter Sumner Named CT Technology & Engineering Teacher of the Year


Peter Sumner, a dedicated and innovative Career and Technology teacher at The Woodstock Academy, has been recognized as the 2023-24 Connecticut Technology and Engineering Education High School Teacher of the Year by the Connecticut Technology and Engineering Education Association (CTEEA). This award acknowledges Sumner's outstanding contributions to the field of engineering education and his commitment to fostering a passion for engineering within the classroom. In May 2023, Sumner was also named CTEEA Teacher of the Month for Technology and Engineering High School Education, which qualified him for consideration of CTEEA Teacher of the Year.

Sumner has been instrumental in creating and implementing innovative and engaging curriculum, providing his students with real-world, hands-on experiences to deepen their understanding of engineering. His ability to make complex concepts accessible and enjoyable has earned him the admiration and respect of both students and colleagues.

“Mr. Sumner brings the perfect mix of professional expertise and fun and enjoyment to his classes. While taking the engineering CAD course, you are always engaged with an interesting project that connects to an aspect of the engineering process,” said Evan Rhault ’24, one of Sumner’s current students.

“Mr. Sumner led me to a greater understanding of engineering through his superb teaching skills and his great depth of knowledge in the subject matter,” said another student, Joel Koleszar ’24.

Recent accomplishments of Sumner’s teaching career at WA include starting a competitive robotics team, becoming members of the Technology Student Association and Youth Manufacturing Pipeline Initiative, starting a chapter of the National Technical Honor Society, and with the help of generous donors and grants, introducing his students to 3D printing, robotics, lasers, simulators, CNC machining, state of the art computers, drones, and latest design software, that are all continuing to evolve.

“The greatest thing about technology and engineering is that tools are always evolving, nothing stays the same, there is never a dull moment. Every day there is something new for students to learn,” said Sumner. “I am not big on awards but this one is a testament to the people who have guided me along the way, including mentors, colleagues, and WA’s administration.”

“Peter’s state-wide recognition is not a surprise. His classroom instruction is superior, creative, and cultivates strong student agency. Over the years, he continues to lead robotics teams to regional, state, and national success,” said Associate Head of School Holly Singleton. “And he has guided the engineering program at The Academy to align with industry standards and innovative thinking.”

Along with being recognized at the CTEEA State Conference on November 7, Sumner will also be honored by the International Technology and Engineering Education Association (ITEEA) at their annual convention in Memphis, TN in March 2024. 

“As Teacher of the Year, Peter joins a long line of distinguished educators who have received this honor over the years. His leadership and desire to continuously improve the program at The Woodstock Academy is paramount to our profession,” said Dan Grenier, CTEEA State Champion and presenter of Sumner’s award.

The Woodstock Academy is an independent, day and boarding, co-educational, college preparatory high school for grades 9–12 and postgraduates located in Woodstock, CT. The mission of The Woodstock Academy is to prepare all students by providing diverse opportunities through a rigorous curriculum and a variety of programs in order to cultivate the necessary skills to become lifelong learners and global citizens.