SBPLI Honors Great Neck South Team Leader John Motchkavitz for Being Named in LIVE! with Kelly and Michael Top Teacher Search

School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. (SBPLI) has announced that John Motchkavitz, a team leader for the Great Neck South High School FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Team #2638 “Rebels,” has been nominated for the Top Teacher Search Contest on the WABC-TV show LIVE! With Kelly and Michael. After a long weekend of voting, Mr. Motchkavitz was named one of the five finalists — making him the only finalist from both Long Island and New York State. Within the next few weeks, he could potentially be named Top Teacher in the nation by the show’s co-hosts, Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan. 

Each finalist will be featured on the show during this week to enlighten the audience on each teacher’s inspirational story. Mr. Motchkavitz will appear on the show on May 13. Since leading the FIRST robotics team, Mr. Motchkavitz has tripled the number of students in robotics classes and has taken the team to the national championships. 

In addition to being the team leader for the robotics team, Mr. Motchkavitz is a technology teacher and head of the high school’s business/technology department. He is also involved in the school’s business club DECA, as a set designer for school productions, and in the Faculty Social Committee to welcome new teachers into the high school. In addition, he is a part of the high school’s athletic department, as the lacrosse coach and the announcer for wrestling matches held at the school. 

Lastly, Mr. Motchkavtiz dedicates his time to community service within the Great Neck community. He contributes to the local fire department and was even one of the department’s first responders during the September 11, 2001 attacks. His accomplishments with SBPLI’s FIRST robotics programs, as well as his achievements within the school are expected to be highlighted on his special TV segment. 

“For the past five years, FIRST has been an important part of his career, as he’s gotten to know students on a personal level and taken them to competitions all over Long Island and around the country,” said Joani Madarash, Executive Director, SBPLI. “Mr. Motchkavitz’s passion and hard work with children in the classroom and in extracurricular activities has changed students’ lives and the way they learn. He is a true example of what a passionate teacher is and the type of leader SBPLI’s FIRST robotics programs exemplify.” 

“I am truly honored to be considered as one of the finalists in LIVE! with Kelly and Michael’s Top Teacher Search Contest,” Mr. Motchkavitz said. “I have enjoyed being involved in SBPLI and part of the FIRST robotics program and teaching these students about science, engineering and technology, as well as team building, ‘coopertition’ and gracious professionalism.” 

Voting for Top Teacher is from May 16th to May 19th. Those wishing to vote can do so at more information on SBPLI, visit