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N.H. Teacher of the Year is at Pinkerton Academy

A social studies teacher at Pinkerton Academy in Derry has been named the 2014 teacher of the year in New Hampshire.

Joseph Lee now becomes the state’s candidate for National Teacher of the Year.

Lee has been teaching for six years, all of them at Pinkerton Academy. The selection committee said it recognized his conviction and passion to teaching, the energy he brings to the classroom and his philosophy of making every kid better. He believes it is his job to teach each student.

Gov. Maggie Hassan said Lee’s dedication and hard work epitomize the best of the state’s teachers.

“In order to help out students develop the skills and innovative thinking necessary to succeed in the 21st century economy, New Hampshire needs engaging, high-quality teachers like Joseph Lee,” she said.

Lee said he will continue to hold himself to high standards, “pushing the envelope of what I am responsible for.”

New Hampshire Department of Education Commissioner Virginia Barry said the difficulty of choosing a teacher of the year only gets more difficult because of the field of excellent candidates.

Finalists for teacher of the year were Janie “Jennie” Calnan, a reading specialist at Dr. George Emerson Elementary in Fitzwilliam; Carrie Charette, who teaches English at Franklin High School; Janice Ellerin, a life sciences teacher at Hollis Brookline Middle School and Lor-Lyn Griffin, a science teacher at Hampstead Middle School.

Lee also is the golf and hockey coach as well as the adviser to the school’s China Exchange program.

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