Teachers from Parker-Varney Elementary School in Manchester and the Ledge Street Elementary School in Nashua are among seven finalists for the 2021 New Hampshire Department of Education Teacher of the Year award.
State education officials are scheduled to announce the winner this Friday at 1 p.m. on the State House lawn.
Alyssa Balboni, a third-and fourth-grade teacher at Parker-Varney and Danielle Boutin, an English language learner teacher at Ledge Street, are among the six semifinalists chosen from 11 semifinalists previously announced.
“In the spring, we asked families to share thank you notes for teachers,” said Manchester Supt. of Schools John Goldhardt in a statement. “We received messages for hundreds of teachers, but Alyssa Balboni’s name came up over and over. It was clear then just what an impact she was having on her students and families. Those who become educators don’t do so for awards – they do so because they want to make an impact. We are so fortunate to have someone as talented and passionate as Alyssa in the Manchester School District.”
The other finalists are:
— Sarah Carlson, third grade, Plymouth Elementary
— Kathleen McCaffrey-Pomerleau, second grade, Main Street School, Exeter
— Benjamin Rodon, humanities, Amherst Middle School
— Tina Sturdivant, biology, Pinkerton Academy, Derry
— Jay Keough, criminal justice, Spaulding High School R.W. Creteau Regional Technology Center, Rochester
“This national and statewide award builds community awareness of our state’s finest educators, while providing positive messages about the teaching profession,” the New Hampshire Department of Education said in a news release.
The Teacher of the Year selection process begins at the nomination level where teachers are nominated by peers, administrators, parents, students or community members. Each of the semifinalists were nominated for their service in education, dedication to their students and commitment to improving education.
According to state officials, the Teacher of the Year Program does not attempt to single out any individual as the best teacher in New Hampshire, but instead looks to honor one teacher who represents all educators in the state.
In lieu of site visits last spring, Teacher of the Year candidates were asked to submit videos highlighting how they made the shift to remote instruction. A selection of these videos from the candidates can be viewed on the department’s YouTube channel.
The next step in the selection process was to examine the candidates’ public speaking skills. Semifinalists responded to the question: “What is your platform and how can you use that to elevate the teaching profession?”
The seven finalists will gather on the State House lawn Friday to be recognized for their excellence in the classroom, and for one of them to be named the 2021 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year.