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Millstone Township educators recognized for efforts, dedication

Photo by Philip Sean Curran
The Weston Mill Dam will be removed from Millstone River in an effort to clear the way for local aquatic life.

MILLSTONE – Administrators in the Millstone Township K-8 School District have named the district’s teachers of the year.

At the Millstone Township Primary School, where pupils in pre-kindergarten through second grade are educated, the Teacher of the Year is kindergarten teacher Lori Hanson.

Principal Paul Baker said Hanson has taught at the school for three years and is in her first year of teaching kindergarten. Prior to teaching kindergarten, she taught second grade.

“You will not find a more genuine, caring and committed teacher than Mrs. Hanson,” Baker said. “Her energy and sincerity are contagious and you cannot help but smile every time you are with her.

“What I admire most about Mrs. Hanson are the sincere relationships she builds with each of her students and the comfortable and safe learning environment she provides them. I feel strongly that the primary school has ‘Teacher of the Year’ talent in every classroom, but this year, Mrs. Hanson has shined brightest,” Baker said.

At the Millstone Township Elementary School, where pupils in grades three through five are educated, the Teacher of the Year is special education teacher Melissa Coyle.

Principal Suzanne Guidry said Coyle joined the district as a special education teacher in 2007 and has filled a variety of roles. She currently provides reading and math instruction in a resource room setting and is Orton-Gillingham certified (relating to the treatment of dyslexia).

“It is an absolute pleasure working with Mrs. Coyle. She is creative, energetic and a true team player,” Guidry said. “Mrs. Coyle goes above and beyond to make school a special place for her students and her colleagues.”

At the Millstone Township Middle School, where students in grades six through eight are educated, the Teacher of the Year is Michele Nixon, who teaches seventh grade math.

Principal Trisha Bogusz said Nixon has taught in the district for 11 years and has been teaching math at the middle school for four years. Prior to teaching math at the middle school, Nixon taught Spanish in the elementary school.

“It was a pleasure to award Michele with the Teacher of the Year accolades as she is a dedicated professional,” Bogusz said. “She treats each student as if they can achieve anything they set their mind to and with her support, success happens. Our seventh grade team benefits from her hard work and her relationship with our community is second to none. I am truly blessed to call her a colleague.”

The Educational Specialist of the Year, selected from the entire district, is Colleen Henkin, who is a reading specialist at the Millstone Township Elementary School.

Guidry said Henkin joined the district in 2004 and taught second grade before becoming a reading specialist. She is part of the school’s intervention team and provides supplemental instruction in the areas of reading comprehension and word study.

With reading specialist Nicole Filippone, Henkin organizes school-wide reading events such as the annual summer reading contest, a summer book swap and an annual visit from an author.

“Mrs. Henkin is a true asset to the elementary school community,” Guidry said. “Her passion for reading and language is undeniable and contagious. She instills a love of reading in all her students.”

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