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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Nashua South psychology teacher receives No Bell Award

NASHUA – There were a few tears and plenty of cheers for Mike McQuilkin as he walked down the bleachers packed with students at Nashua High School South on Thursday to receive an award given to one outstanding high school teacher each year.

“I had no idea this was coming; I’m in shock right now,” said
McQuilkin, an AP psychology teacher at the school for six years. ...

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NASHUA – There were a few tears and plenty of cheers for Mike McQuilkin as he walked down the bleachers packed with students at Nashua High School South on Thursday to receive an award given to one outstanding high school teacher each year.

“I had no idea this was coming; I’m in shock right now,” said
McQuilkin, an AP psychology teacher at the school for six years.

Each year, the No Bell Award is given to a teacher who leads students by example, breeds enthusiasm and respect, inspires students to develop a hunger for learning, and serves as a role model for students.

Senior class members of the National Honor Society choose each year’s No Bell winner, who also gets a $6,000 tax-free check, which is funded by an anonymous donor.

The award rotates between Nashua South and North every year.

The students and staff who packed the gymnasium clapped and cheered as McQuilkin walked up to take a symbolic, oversized check from Principal Keith Richard.

McQuilkin’s twin sons, Caden and Riley, as well as his parents, Kathy and Larry, were on hand to congratulate him.

“I try to bring the classroom to life,” he said of his teaching philosophy. “I try to make connections with the curriculum.”

But more than anything, McQuilkin said, “I try to teach life lessons.”

Jennifer Seusing, assistant superintendant of accountability and assessment for the Nashua School District, hired McQuilkin and said she knew “he was an outstanding person.”

“He just jumped right into our school community,” Seusing said. “He’s connected with every kind of kid humanly possible. He’s just so easy to get to know. He’s been involved with all kinds of clubs and activities, and the kids just love him. I couldn’t be prouder.”

McQuilkin is also the South Unified basketball team coach.

“We have the greatest kids and greatest staff,” he said. “They’ve been very supportive of me. I can’t say enough about that.

“It’s a great place to work.”

Don Himsel can be reached at 594-6590 or dhimsel@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Himsel on Twitter (@Telegraph_DonH).