STAMFORD — In her 37 years teaching music at Stamford Public Schools, Gloria Sinaguglia has touched the lives of countless students. But she wasn’t always aware of that.

“As teachers, we may not realize the significance of what we are doing or saying to a student,” the district’s 2016 teacher of the year said. “I know I didn’t, until many years later when I began to hear from my former students.”

Her speech was part of an annual convocation video that teachers and staff watched Monday morning to kick off the new school year.

Sinaguglia urged her colleagues to adopt the familiar phrase, “If you see something, say something,” to recognize “potentially wonderful” abilities in their students. She cited examples of former students who came back to share how her encouraging words changed their lives.

“Hearing from a 1978 Rippowam graduate who, with the help of teachers along the way, recognized that music and theater are his lifelong vocation,” she said. “Or the 1980s graduate whom I encouraged to audition for ‘Grease’ and who, unbeknownst to me, went on to study voice in college and is now a college professor of voice himself. He still has the book I gave him and it sits front and center on his bookshelf in his office. I saw something and I’m so glad I said something.”

This was the second time the convocation speeches were delivered via video. The district stopped holding an in-person single convocation event last year so it could use time more efficiently, since teachers had to be in their own school for mandated training sessions on the same day.

Besides Sinaguglia, the 48-minute video also featured Superintendent of Schools Earl Kim, Board of Education President Geoff Alswanger, Mayor David Martin, union officials and Parent-Teacher Council representatives.

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