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Sitting Down With John Mastroianni, Connecticut Teacher Of The Year

Hall High School band director John Mastroianni is Connecticut’s 2014 Teacher of the Year, state education Commissioner Stefan Pryor announced Tuesday mor...

Hall High School band director John Mastroianni is Connecticut’s 2014 Teacher of the Year, state education Commissioner Stefan Pryor announced Tuesday morning. Fox CT’s Logan Byrnes interviews the award winner.

WEST HARTFORD — Hall High School band director John Mastroianni is Connecticut’s 2014 Teacher of the Year, state education Commissioner Stefan Pryor announced Tuesday morning.

Hundreds of Mastroianni’s music students gathered in the gymnasium under the guise of welcoming visiting German students to the school. They erupted into applause and cheers when they heard the news about their beloved teacher.

Among the Teacher of the Year finalists, Mastroianni “rose to the top with a truly exemplary application and performance on his part,” Pryor said in his introduction.

Mastroianni, a 53-year-old professional saxophonist, has taught at Hall for 15 years. He leads Hall’s famed annual “Pops ‘N Jazz” show and has been honored with many jazz educator accolades.

He said Tuesday he was thrilled that the ceremony had finally come, for a few reasons.

“I’m honored and humbled beyond what any words can describe. And secondly, because for seven days straight I have been lying through my teeth,” said Mastroianni, who knew of the award in advance.

Read the rest of Julie Stagis’ story from the Hartford Courant here.