Votes Needed for L.I. Firefighter Vying for Top Teacher

A Long Island firefighter who spent time assisting at Ground Zero is among five finalists vying for top teacher designation. 

John "Motch" Motchkavitz is among the top five finalists in Teacher of The Year on the ABC-TV Kelly and Michael Show.

Voting ends at 3 p.m. Monday. 

Motchkavitz, a teacher at Great Neck South High School, has had a profound impact on students, according to the nominations. 

Here's some of why his students and fellow faculty believe he's outstanding: 

"Motch is the Business/Technology department head and Technology teacher here at Great Neck South High School. When we think of a person that makes a difference both in the classroom, around school and in his community, Motch is that guy. Motch’s dedication to our school is unparalleled to anyone this district has ever come across. In all honesty, there is nothing that goes on in our building that Motch does not touch or help play a major role in. Whether it is our business club DECA, Robotics, set design for all of the amazing school plays and musicals, social committee to bond and welcome new teachers, marriages and babies into the Great Neck Schools community—Motch is always there. Besides academics, he is also a major supporter of athletics. Motch also coaches lacrosse and does all of the announcements for the wrestling matches here at school. Within the community, Motch tirelessly serves as a volunteer fire fighter, helping in the efforts of 9/11. He gives 1,000% in everything he does. He really is the backbone of Great Neck South High School."

They also described his duties at Great Neck Vol. Fire Department.

"Motch is also a major contributor to our community’s volunteer fire department. He continually puts his life in danger to help others, and he does so without hesitation. In fact, he was one of the first volunteer fire department responders during the 9/11 attacks, along with the rest of his fire department. He spent days in the rubble, down in Ground Zero, searching for survivors, loved ones, and helping with the efforts. His best friend , John Ielpi was killed during the 9/11 attacks, and Motch has had a Senior Award named in his honor, which goes to a deserving student every year. Motch has a heart of gold and is willing to help anyone, anywhere, any time he is needed...".