Charles Langworth became a teacher when he realized the business world was not for him. Monday night, the seventh-grade math teacher at Rippowam Middle School was named the Stamford Public Schools Teacher of the Year.

“I tried to do the next best thing to make myself rich and famous and became a teacher,” Langworth said with a laught during his acceptance speech. He said his sense of humor has helped him reach students.

Never a top student, he uses that experience to encourage students to work hard and not give up. Langworth said he’s described himself as “not a great student” so often he was glad his mother was present at the ceremony to support his story.

He was happy to be a part of Monday’s 10th annual Spotlight on Teachers celebration at UConn Stamford, he said, because teachers never take time to credit themselves for the good they do. They’re usually busy trying to help students having trouble understanding a lesson, he said.

He was among four other finalists for the Teacher of the Year Award. Other nominees were Dave Wooley, English teacher at Westhill High School, Barbara Remondino, special education teacher at Cloonan Middle School, and Susan Ramsey, art teacher at Springdale Elementary School.

In addition to honoring the Teacher of the Year, the evening also recognized 29 winners of Spotlight teaching awards. The Stamford Education Association and the Teacher of the Year Committee organized Spotlight on Teachers to acknowledge those who are doing their best to help Stamford students.

What qualities do you find in the best teachers? Who do you think are among the best teachers in Stamford?