District teachers set to be honored

13 educators will be recognized at event

NASHUA – Thirteen local teachers will be recognized for their “outstanding contributions,” and will receive the 2017 Nashua Education Foundation Excellence in Education Award.

After being nominated by their peers, Charles Vorias, Chelsea Huckins, Cheryl Burns, Elizabeth Thomson, Jill Tacy, Judy Cummings, Karen Munz, Mary Coe Foran, Rob Souter, Scott Anderson, Tanya Ackerman and Travis Cote were selected by a committee, and will be presented with their awards in a reception and ceremony on Oct. 12 at the Sky Meadow Country Club.

Helen Honorow, a Nashua attorney, will receive the Ron Kraus Outside the Profession Award at the same ceremony for her “contributions and significant impact on education in Nashua,” according to a press release.

Beth Kreick, president of the NEF and a former teacher herself, said one educator from each discipline/subject is nominated, along with specifics for high school, middle school and the like.

“It isn’t every day that teachers are recognized in this way,” Kreick said. “They deserve to have a spotlight shone on what they do.”

Cummings, a reading specialist at Bicentennial Elementary School, has been with the district for 16 years, following a 20-year career in banking. She said in an interview that making the switch to education was the “best decision” she has made.

This is her first time receiving the award, which she said is “very exciting.”

“I’m very honored to know that the hard work and dedication that I think all teachers put in is being recognized,” she said, adding, “it’s not just a profession, it’s something we do out of the love we have for the students, and to be recognized with the others as one of those is an honor.”

Anderson, a high school health teacher at Nashua High School South and also a first-time award recipient, echoed that sentiment.

“It’s great to know that people think I’m doing a good job,” he said. “I love my job, it’s one of the best jobs in the world, and it’s worth all the effort,” he said, adding that to receive the award feels “amazing.”

For Karen Munz, an art teacher at Elm Street, the award came as a complete surprise.

“It feels really good,” she said. “This is only my seventh year, and I always leave the job thinking, ‘could I have done more?’ I tend to be really critical of myself,” she said.

Munz fell in love with art as a child, she said, and had some art teachers in her life who really inspired her. Plus, her mom, dad, sister and sister-in-law all are teachers, she said.

“I guess I was inspired at home, and inspired by my teachers.”

“The folks I was nominated with, I know how hard they work to do right by their students,” Munz said. “This recognition for a few of us is something that we all share. … I’m really proud to be in this school district.”

These three teachers, along with the other educators and honorees, will be given their awards at the event on Oct. 12, which Kreick said always is a “truly special night.”

Tickets to attend are available for purchase at http://www.nashuaeducationfoundation.org/nefie-awards/nefie-tickets/.