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Posted 03/22/2012 04:47PM



Ashfield Middle School Teacher Peter Cyzmbor was surprised to learn Wednesday that he has been selected as one of 50 Horace Mann-Abraham Lincoln Fellows this year. The Social Studies and English Language Arts teacher has been awarded a fellowship to study the 16th president Great Emancipator during an all-expenses-paid five-day symposium in Springfield, Ill.

“Lincoln is a big part of my classroom. I’m very grateful to have been selected. I’m just shocked,” said Cyzmbor, of Brockton. “I’m looking forward to taking whatever I learn and bringing it back to Brockton.”

The announcement was made March 21st during a school staff meeting. Czymbor seemed stunned, and said he expected another teacher was being honored.

“Peter is a wonderful teacher who works very hard to connect with each student. It’s nice to see him rewarded for his hard work and dedication,” said Ashfield Middle School Principal Barbara Lovell.

Cyzmbor, who works as a professional juggler in his spare time, submitted an essay and photo to the Horace Mann company last July and learned this week of the honor. He said he uses examples from Lincoln’s presidency to demonstrate to students how important it is to stay focused.

“When a teacher loves something, the kids genuinely respond to that enthusiasm. I use Lincoln as an example, a role model, of how hard work and honesty can pay off,” he said.

Lincoln fellows will get behind-the-scenes knowledge of the library and museum and enjoy visits to other historical sites -- New Salem, Lincoln's home, Lincoln's tomb, and the Old State Capitol. Fellows will also hear from experts on Lincoln's life and the Civil War era. Past topics have included a look at Lincoln the lawyer, Lincoln as president, political cartoons in the classroom, Civil War medical practices, and "Ghosts of the Library."

Don McGrath, who represents Horace Mann in Brockton, said he was pleased that a local teacher was selected for the honor.

Horace Mann (Horace Mann Educators Corp. (NYSE: HMN) is the largest national multiline insurance company focusing on educators' financial needs. Horace Mann provides auto and homeowners insurance, retirement annuities, life insurance and other financial solutions. “Founded by Educators for Educators” in 1945, the company is headquartered in Springfield, Ill. For more information about the company, visit


Brockton Kids Count

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    • 09/22 IN SERVICE Day - Early Release - PreK-8
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