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A celebration of teachers at NEFie Awards

NASHUA — Thirteen educators received recognition Thursday evening during the Nashua Education Foundation (NEFie) Awards, a ceremony which seeks to acknowledge outstanding educators in the Nashua School District.

For nearly a decade, members of the Nashua Education Foundation have worked to provide grants and additional resources to teachers in the school district.

One of those grant recipients was in the audience Thursday evening. Nashua High School North educator Erin Knoetig received funds from the foundation last year to purchase drones for her Girls in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) drone course.

Knoetig brought five of her students, who shared why they loved the class and how the grant helped the class. They were even able to fly a drone, piloted by Knoetig, across the room.

According to foundation President Beth Kreick, the nonprofit has provided more than $100,000 to 75 enrichment projects.

“We believe there is no more worthy cause than educating our children to become positive and productive members of our community,” Kreick said.

Thursday night, however, was a night to recognize the educators of those children.

The categories for NEFie Awards include Art and Music, Career and Technical Education, English, Math, Physical Education, Science, Social Studies, Special Education, Special Services and World Languages. There were also Teacher of the Year Awards for elementary, middle and high school.

These educators received awards:

• Art Teacher of the Year – Corinne Stoney, New Searles Elementary School

• Career and Technical Education Teacher of the Year – Heather Dubois, Nashua High School South

• Language Arts Teacher of the Year- Brandi McDonald, Nashua High School North

• Special Education Teacher of the Year – Tamara Marcaurell, Elm Street Middle School

• Physical Education Teacher of the Year – Evan Johnson, Bicentennial Elementary School

• World Language Teacher of the Year – Nanette Corriveau, Fairgrounds Middle School

• Special Services Educator of the Year – Kim Remillard, Broad Street Elementary School

• Math Teacher of the Year – Cathy Belanger, Elm Street Middle School

• Science Teacher of the Year – Steve Fitzgerald, Nashua High School North

• Social Studies Teacher of the Year- Lynda Walsh, Pennichuck Middle School

• High School Teacher of the Year – Laurie Gilbert, Nashua High School South

• Middle School Teacher of the Year – Patty Davidson, Elm Street Middle School

• Elementary School Teacher of the Year – Joy Brito, Fairgrounds Elementary School

Additionally, each year, the foundation presents the Ron Kraus Outside the Profession Award. Kraus was the founder of the Nashua Education Foundation, who passed away in 2012.

Foundation board member Scott Flegal said Thursday that Kraus was a, “wonderful member of the community,” as well as someone who was, “completely committed to education.”

This year’s winners of the Ron Kraus Outside the Profession Award were Tulley Automotive Group and Peters of Nashua, for help in revitalizing the Nashua Technology Center’s Automotive Program.

“Far too many people spend their lifetime headed in the wrong direction because they were never given the opportunity to uncover their greatest talents and potential. The two individuals that I have the honor of speaking about today are committed to making sure that never happens for students in Nashua,” Nashua Technology Center North Director Amanda Bastoni said while recognizing Vice President of Peters of Nashua Peggy Proko and Tulley BMW owner Mark Tulley.

“They were instrumental in designing the last phase to ensure that all the students had state-of-the-art equipment and could participate in hands-on learning,” Bastoni said.

All proceeds from Thursday’s event are going back to the organization to fund for more projects in the Nashua School District.

Grace Pecci may be reached at 594-1243, or at gpecci@nashuatelegraph.com.