Nashua Lions Club President Elaine Lecius and Peter Testa, former chairman of the Mine Falls Park Advisory Committee celebrate Nashua High South math teacher Jacalyn Lesser’s Teacher of the Year award. (Courtesy)
Nashua Lions Club honors its Teacher of the Year
She wasn’t exactly a math whiz in high school, and it seemed like an unusual choice. But Lesser and her family were all smiles this week when she was honored as the Nashua Lions Club pick for Teacher of the Year 2014 at a club meeting at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
“I had always wanted to go into teaching, but the field was overcrowded when I was in college,” she said.
But during the ’90s, the number of math and science teachers dwindled as college graduates gravitated to more lucrative fields, and Lesser saw an opportunity.
Math was where she was needed, so math is the direction she took.
Lesser said that unlike most math teachers who are mental mathematicians, she tends to be a visual mathematician and that’s been helpful in reaching students who would rather be anywhere else on the planet rather than math class.
But Lesser wasn’t honored just for her work in the classroom. She also coordinates volunteer work for Nashua High South’s Honor Society, and it was her success in getting students to step up and help with Trail Days at Mine Falls Park that caught the attention of Lions Club members, who nominated her for the Teacher of the Year award.
But Nashua is home now, and she loves the combination of having big-city resources close by, while still being able to feel like a part of a close-knit community.
“It’s very rare that you find a place that you love, and you feel you belong and where everything comes together,” she said. “That’s the way it is at South; it’s an amazing group of students and teachers.”
“That’s the fastest way to get them to wilt,” she said. “There will always be things to do to improve, and there will always be another teacher to work with and another student to help.”