Pittsburgh Penguins April 2023 Teacher of the Month

Future GoalsTM Program

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Pittsburgh Penguins April 2023 Teacher of the Month


Melissa Kalwanaski


Westmont Hilltop Elementary

Classroom Team:

Tell us about yourself!

I am the K-12 Gifted Coordinator at my District. This is my 16th year teaching and 3rd using Everfi. Here at school, I’m also the scholastic quiz coach, as well as the high school’s social media manager. This past year has been incredible. In the fall of 2021, I was named an NAGC Javits-Frasier Scholar, and then in December, I received the news that one of my students and I had been chosen to take part in the Albert H. Small Normandy Institute. This summer then, along with 13 other student-teacher pairs from across the country, my student and I learned, researched, and spent time visiting Washington D.C. and France.

Who is your favorite NHL® player and why?

Sidney Crosby! He has done a lot for the Penguins and the city of Pittsburgh.

What is your favorite part of the Future Goals™program? How do you see STEM in the game of hockey?

I love that students can move at their own pace through the program. I work with gifted students, and this is an excellent enrichment activity.

STEM is in all parts of hockey! I love that this program really shows that to students. They get to understand the importance that math and science play in so many parts of the world that they may not have considered before.

If you played hockey, what position would you play and why?

I would be at left or right defense. I don’t back down from challenges and can put up a fight when I need to in order to make sure my team wins.