As the chorus of high school commencements fades, it was the teachers’ turn to bask in some pomp of their own Monday. The Massachusetts Teacher of the Year, as well as top teachers in specific subjects, was honored at the State House.
KATHLEEN MAE TURNER
Sharon High School
2013 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year
Favorite teacher: Mr. Cormier, her eighth-grade French teacher: “I went home after the first day of eighth grade and knew I wanted to be a French teacher.”
Advice to students: Avoid building up resumes and transcripts just to impress colleges. Instead, she said, students should be “well lopsided” and become involved with one or two projects they’re truly passionate about. “You need to be accepted for who you are.”
RICHARD F. HOUSTON
Harwich High School
History Teacher of the Year
Favorite teacher: Houston chose two: Brother Tom Ryan, St. John’s High School in Shrewsbury, and Robert Brandfon, College of the Holy Cross, for “exciting me about the subject matter” of history.
Advice to students: “Apply what you learn to your larger role in the community.”
Monument Mountain Regional High School
2011 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics & Science Teaching
Favorite teacher: Her father, Jack Spencer: “Not only as a father, but as a teacher,” Erickson said of her father, who taught for more than 40 years.
Advice to students: In math, “It’s not about the answer. It’s about the puzzle and the work you do to try to get to that solution. . . . Everyone is a mathematician.”