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For Cinnaminson Robotics Teacher, Award Was Too Good To Be True

Patch logo Patch 2/22/2021 Anthony Bellano
a person smiling for the camera: When Nancy Mulville first learned she was honored as an Axalta All-Pro Teacher, she thought it was a scam. It wasn't. © Image courtesy Nancy Mulville When Nancy Mulville first learned she was honored as an Axalta All-Pro Teacher, she thought it was a scam. It wasn't.

CINNAMINSON, NJ — Nancy Mulville has been a teacher for more than 30 years, and she recently described what it felt like to be honored by her peers.

“It’s great to be recognized, especially by colleagues,” the programming and robotics teacher at Cinnaminson High School said.

Initially, she didn’t even believe it was real. Quite literally.

Mulville received an email on Dec. 2 from a representative from the Philadelphia Eagles football team telling her she had been selected as an Axalta All-Pro Teacher.

“I thought it was a scam. I didn’t even know I had been nominated,” Mullville said.

So she sent it to the trash and went about her day. When she was cleaning out her emails later, she showed it to her husband, and he had a different opinion.

“He thought it was real,” Mulville said. “Then I found a video of the winners from last year, and I saw one of our middle school teachers had won. So I emailed her, and she said it was real.”

Looking at the email, it might be easy to assume that it was too good to be true. The benefits of being named one of 10 teachers to receive the award include:

  • $2,000 donation to Cinnaminson High School to be used for school supplies or programming
  • Four tickets to an Eagles home game in the 2021 season
  • One reserved parking pass for an Eagles home game in the 2021 season
  • Personalized Replica Eagles jersey
  • Personalized Eagles football
  • Invitation for four guests to attend the Awards Reception at Lincoln Financial Field or virtually
  • Nomination for Teacher of the Year Award and the chance to earn an incremental $5,000 donation to Cinnaminson High School to be used for the school (to be presented at the award reception).

But it’s a very real award, and Mulville can use the proceeds in a very real way.

“I saw some curriculum on drones and thought that would be a cool unit for the spring,” Mulville said. “It would be cool to be able to go out to the court area and fly some drones.”

Yes, some students may be sitting in class, happen to look out their window and see some flying drones. Mulville teaches computer programming for a full-year and a robotics class that is one semester now, but will expand to a full year next year.

She also teaches financial readiness and AP Computer Science, and is a co-advisor for the school’s robotics team, which is in its third year and growing rapidly.

Mulville has a secondary math certification, and a master’s degree in technology and education from Chestnut Hill College.

She came to the Cinnaminson Public School District in 2002, and taught math for 14 years before being asked if she wanted to teach programming. She has now been in the Business and Technology Department for the last five years.

For the last four years, she has been a co-advisor for the Girls Who Code Program, which is a part of a national initiative that is aimed at closing the gender gap in the field of technology.

In Cinnaminson, the club is made up of girls at the high school and the middle school. She works with the middle school computer teacher, so she can get acquainted with the girls in 6th, 7th and 8th grades.

Her hope is that she can get them interested in the STEM field early, so that they embrace it in high school.

“Some girls I met in sixth grade are starting to come in now,” Mulville said. “It’s not an overwhelming number yet, but I hope that number continues to grow.”

As for the award, the Philadelphia Eagles and Axalta Coating Systems developed the All-Pro Teacher platform to recognize outstanding teachers (5th grade – 12th grade) in the tri-state area for their contribution to their students, school, and community, according to the email.

“After reading hundreds of nominations, we felt that your story stood out and deserved to be recognized as a member of this year’s class,” the email reads.

For now, it appears as though recognition will come virtually, although if the situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic improves, it could be held in-person.

For more on the award, click here.

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