News Releases

September 16, 2009

Bellows Falls Union High School Teacher Named 2010 Teacher of the Year

MONTPELIER – Craig Divis, a high school social studies teacher at Bellows Falls Union High School in Bellows Falls, was named by the State Board of Education as the 2010 Vermont Teacher of the Year at a ceremony held today at the school.

Also honored were:

• Alternate Stacey Endres, a middle school social studies and English teacher at Milton Middle School in Milton.

• Finalist Terry Frey, a K-12 music teacher at Windsor Junior Senior High School and State Street School in Windsor.

As the 2010 Teacher of the Year, Divis will travel statewide visiting schools and working with teachers. In addition, he is Vermont’s candidate for the National Teacher of the Year award, sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers. He will also travel to Washington, D.C. this spring for a reception at the White House. The Vermont Teacher of the Year Program is sponsored by Hannaford Bros. Co.

State Board members visited Divis’ classroom this morning prior to a school-wide assembly. The lunchtime ceremony included remarks by Divis, 2009 Vermont Teacher of the Year Diane Leddy, Education Commissioner Armando Vilaseca and State Board Chair Tom James. The student body was present as well. Divis was presented with SMART Board ™ equipment and software for his classroom by Brian Scofield of SMART Technologies, with software and materials going to each of the other two finalists. In addition, the Department of Education donated $2,500 towards classroom-related supplies and activities.

Divis, a resident of Grafton, has been an educator at Bellows Falls for five years, the past two as Social Studies Department Coordinator. He has been a classroom teacher for six years. He received a B.S. in Education from Miami University in 2003, and spent one year as an alternative program teacher in Akron, Ohio prior to coming to Vermont. Divis has worked with the University of Vermont’s Asian Studies Outreach Program since 2005 and traveled extensively during the summer.

“The rewards that I find in teaching are when students become passionate about learning and understanding the world, and want to experience it firsthand,” he wrote in his nomination packet. “My rewards don’t come from grades students get on a test, but from students coming back years after graduation to visit me and tell me about their experiences traveling the world and becoming passionate about learning.”

In addition to serving as an advisor to student teachers, he has served as a member of the Windham Northeast Supervisory Union Social Studies Curriculum Committee, is the chair of the Bellows Falls Union High School Social Studies Department, serves as assistant chair to the school’s Literacy Action Plan Committee, and is a member of the faculty council.

Principal Chris Hodsden wrote, “Mr. Divis will not only represent our state well as Teacher of the Year, he will represent the field of education well to the general public and the nation.”

In his presentation, Commissioner Vilaseca said, “We are fortunate to have someone of Mr. Divis’ caliber working here in this state.”

During his remarks, Mr. Divis made a point of acknowledging his colleagues and parents. However, he saved his greatest praise for his students, telling them, “I am inspired by you every single day. I am in awe of the accomplishments of those of you in the audience and those who came before. It is to you who I say thank you for without you this would not be possible.”

The Vermont Teacher of the Year program is sponsored by Hannaford Bros.

For more information, contact Jill Remick at the Department of Education at (802) 828-3154, or at jill.remick@state.vt.us.

Source: Department of Education
Last Updated at: September 16, 2009 10:02:33