Harvard Club Names Trudy Hoffman ‘Distinguished Teacher,’ Joining Elite Circle

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St. Mary’s Elementary School teacher Trudy Hoffman. (Contributed Photo)

Trudy Hoffman of St. Mary’s Elementary School in Manhasset has been named a “Distinguished Teacher of 2022” by the Harvard Club of Long Island.

“This award honors middle and high school teachers who have profoundly influenced their students’ lives,” explained Dr. Judith Esterquest, chair of the Distinguished Teacher Selection Committee. “Dedicated teachers like Mrs. Hoffman inspire Long Island students to excel, to become passionate about learning, and to recognize the value of hard work. These teachers devote countless hours to creating better futures for our children.”

Hoffman, a Garden City resident, will be honored at a virtual awards ceremony on April 2, along with seven other teachers from across Long Island. Delivering the keynote will be Harvard Professor of Psychology Fiery Cushman, who studies how people make moral decisions.

Hoffman, who has taught sixth grade ELA and Old Testament religion for the past 22 years at St. Mary’s, wanted to be a teacher ever since she was in kindergarten.

After receiving both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education from St. John’s University, she continued her studies, earning numerous New York State certifications.

Hoffman moderates a Middle School Mock Trial program at St. John’s University. She is also a member of the Cognia Accreditation Committee.

Happily married and a mother of three adult children, Hoffman enjoys travel, seeking out art and history museums during European adventures.

Mary Duvnjak, who graduated from Saint Mary’s Elementary School a decade ago, still remembers her sixth grade grammar lessons. She describes Hoffman as such “a supportive teacher and kind person [she] inspired my Harvard essay. She taught me that if I put meaning into my work and work hard, I can succeed.”

Duvnjak expects to graduate from Harvard College this coming May.

When St. Mary’s Principal Sarah Griffin learned of this award she said, “Through her creative, cutting-edge, and thought-provoking lessons in English Language Arts and religion, Mrs. Hoffman always leaves a lasting and motivating impression on her sixth grade students. [She] does something our school’s patroness taught us all first. Mrs. Hoffman listens and hears the needs of her students and responds with kindness, genuine care and compassion.”

At the virtual ceremony on April 2, the Harvard Club of Long Island will announce the Distinguished Teacher of 2022 who will also receive a scholarship for a “Harvard experience” at the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, MA.

Past winners of the scholarships have enhanced their teaching by sampling the resources available to Harvard students: meeting with faculty; visiting research laboratories, rare book archives, and specialty museums; and enjoying visual and performance art. The scholarships are funded by contributions from Harvard alumni living on Long Island.

This year’s award winners were nominated by current Harvard undergraduates and then selected by Harvard Club of Long Island board members. Hoffman is the first teacher from Saint Mary’s School to receive this prestigious award.

—Submitted by the Harvard Club of Long Island

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