Reader Contributed Schools

King Philip Teacher Wins McCourt Prize

Robert Felekey receives the McCourt Prize from U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes. Photo credit: Lauren Y. Hoskins, ASAP!

Robert Felekey, a physical science teacher at King Philip Middle School in West Hartford, was honored with the Frank McCourt Prize.

Robert Felekey receives the McCourt Prize from U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes. Photo credit: Lauren Y. Hoskins, ASAP!


ASAP! is excited to announce Robert Felekey of King Philip Middle School in West Hartford as winner of the ninth Annual Frank McCourt Prize for Excellence in Teaching.

Bob Felekey is in his 14th year as a physical science teacher in eighth grade at King Philip Middle School in West Hartford. He is the founder of the West Hartford Hiking Club, the KP Science Club and co-founder of the West Hartford Girls Who Code Club.

Felekey has received fellowships from the Yale-Peabody Museum, 3M TWIST Program, and UConn School of Engineering DaVinci and Joule Programs. He received the Connecticut Science Center Teacher Ambassador Award and is certified in the NGSS Exemplar Program and as an instructor in Sun Do and “Move, Breathe and Smile.” He has received numerous grants ranging from the National Science Foundation, National Park Service, West Hartford Foundation for Public Schools, King Philip PTO and donorschoose.org.

Felekey has taught in the MIT ZeroRobotics program offered at CCSU and currently teaches at the Florence E. Smith STEM School in the STEAM PM Program. He was recently honored as the Educator of the Game by the Hartford Yard Goats.

This summer Felekey has been invited to join an archaeological expedition to Lithuania and the Island of Rhodes in Greece. There he will search for additional evidence of the Holocaust and attempt to locate distant relatives. Since earning his M.S. in Engineering from Washington University in Saint Louis in 1983, he has learned something new everyday.

This year we received more than 300 McCourt nominations and 23 applications.

The McCourt Prize honors the spirit of Frank McCourt, who was a teacher himself in New York City schools for over thirty years before achieving fame with the publication of his Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, Angela’s Ashes. Despite the immense success of this book and its two sequels, ’Tis and Teacher Man, Frank McCourt remained a teacher at heart. As a resident of Roxbury, McCourt gave generously of his time, talents, and energy to ASAP! and other local causes. He was instrumental in establishing the Celebration of Young Writers and making it the wonderful and important event it is today.

The chief goal of the annually awarded Frank McCourt Prize for Excellence in Teaching is to recognize teachers whose imaginative assignments and techniques have inspired students to become enthusiastic learners. A secondary goal is to find and promote ideas and practices that can be adopted by other teachers.

This year the Award was presented at ASAP!’s 20th Anniversary Celebration hosted by U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes on June 1, 2019, at The Gunnery in Washington, CT.

ASAP! is a social profit arts organization that reaches 9,000-plus children a year throughout Connecticut. The organization is thrilled to be celebrating 20 years of fostering creative, hands-on learning through the arts.

To purchase tickets please visit www.asapct.org or call 860-868-0740.

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