Joseph Malfara Named 2020 Teacher of the Year
Joseph Malfara Named Osceola School District’s 2020 Teacher of the Year
Posted on 03/15/2019
Joseph Malfara Banner ImageIn recognition of his accomplishments as an outstanding educator, Joseph Malfara has been named as Osceola School District’s 2020 Teacher of the Year. Each day, he challenges students toward success at Poinciana High School as an English III, Honors, Advanced Placement English Language and Composition Teacher. His influence on the campus at Poinciana High School is evident at all levels, from the at-risk students to the highest achieving students.

Mr. Malfara has worked tirelessly to implement many strategies that have led to significant gains and maximize student performance on the SAT. Due to these efforts, Poinciana High has seen amazing growth from their students. The average student scores increased from 442 to 476 in his content area. They have also seen an increase in the percentage of students meeting their concordance score after their junior year, which went from 47% to 73% in just one year. In Mr. Malfara’s classroom, 78% of his students met their reading and writing graduation requirement, compared to 57% of other junior-level English classes. Much of this success is due to his students’ improved SAT skills.

In addition, Mr. Malfara has been at the forefront of leading a mentorship group known as the “Suit Up Society,” which was developed in 2017. The group’s purpose is to mentor young men who have grown up without a positive male influence and to improve their lives academically, behaviorally, and socially. Each young man is presented with a shirt and tie from his mentor during a ceremony, where they recite a creed to uphold the values of the group. The group meets monthly to discuss challenges they face, to listen to motivational speakers, or to just gather to support one another. His involvement with his personal mentee has surpassed expectations. His mentee has raised his GPA from 2.0 to 2.46, and he has enrolled in online classes to continue to boost his GPA.

His leadership in his English Professional Learning Community has helped to drive instruction forward at his school. He is involved in a variety of school-wide programs designed to help establish and/or improve the intellectual and cultural richness of the school community. As a member of their Positive Behavior and Intervention Support team, he helps to develop support methods to benefit students and improve their behavior. He is also one of six members in the ASCEND PLC, which is a program designed to take academically-gifted students and guide them to admittance into a top 25 university upon graduation. Mr. Malfara also inspires his students not only in the classroom but also on the athletic field as an announcer for many of the home athletic events and by posting social media inspirational messages, otherwise known as the daily “Malfaraisms.”

Mr. Malfara will now represent Osceola County at the state level in the Florida Department of Education/Macy’s 2020 Teacher of the Year judging.
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