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For Immediate Release: 12 Teachers Recognized at State House

For Immediate Release

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Contact: Jacqueline Reis,


12 Teachers Recognized at State House

On June 15, Secretary James Peyser, Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, Education Committee Co-Chairs Sonia Chang-Díaz and Alice H. Peisch, Senior Associate Commissioner Heather Peske, and many state legislators recognized 14 notable teachers at the State House. The honorees were:

  • 2018 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Cara M. Pekarcik, a science teacher at North Quincy High School;
  • 2018 Massachusetts History Teacher of the Year Kevin Dua of Somerville High School (For an example of his work, go to the Commonwealth Museum’s website to see a video his class made called “Reclaiming Black Faces”).
  • Massachusetts Teacher of the Year finalists Martha M. Boisselle, who teaches English language learners at Brighton High School in Boston; Kathy Boisvert, a pre-kindergarten teacher at Millville Elementary School, part of the Blackstone-Millville Regional School District; Sarah Foster, a special education teacher at Laura Lee Therapeutic Day School in Lowell; Todd Paul Kefor, an English teacher at Norton High School; and Brian A. Sheehan, a music teacher at Salemwood School in Malden;
  • Massachusetts Teacher of the Year semifinalists Lisa Brown, a special education teacher at Nauset Regional High School in Eastham; Jasmin DiRusso, a second grade teacher at the Martin E. Young School in Randolph; and Calla Freeman, a kindergarten teacher at the William M. Trotter Innovation School in Boston; and
  • Finalists for the 2016 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching: Jennifer Lee Donais, a sixth grade teacher at the Dr. Paul Nettle Middle School in Haverhill; Karen Walsh Fortin, a kindergarten teacher at Florence Sawyer Elementary School in Bolton, part of the Nashoba Regional School District; Lorie Hammerstrom, a fourth grade teacher at Merrymount Elementary School in Quincy; and Laura Richardson, a first grade teacher at the Edith C. Baker Elementary School in Brookline.

Speakers included 2017 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year and 2017 National Teacher of the Year Sydney Chaffee and North Quincy High School Student Vivian Tran, one of Ms. Pekarcik’s students. Congratulations to all!(