PSU alum named 2014 Teacher of the Year by Technology Institute for Music Educators

February 20th, 2014 by Lynn

    PLYMOUTH — Laconia music teacher Catherine Dwinal,’10, has been recognized by her peers as the nation’s top music teacher. The prestigious Mike Kovins Technology Institute for Music Educators (TI:ME) Teacher of the Year Award recognizes outstanding dedication and enthusiasm in music educators who have introduced technology into their music classrooms. It is named in honor of the late Mike Kovins, who was instrumental in starting Technology Institute for Music Educators in 1995.

    Since earning a Bachelor’s in Music Education from Plymouth State University, Dwinal has been teaching elementary general music and chorus at Elm Street and Pleasant Street schools in Laconia since 2010. Switching schools every quarter, she teaches more than 30 general music classes, a brand new iBand, and 2 different after-school chorus programs. This prestigious award recognizes outstanding dedication and enthusiasm in music educators who have introduced technology into their music classrooms as a means to teach the standards of their music education program.

    “I’ve surrounded myself with the right people who are always there to support, guide, and encourage everything I try,” Dwinal said. “As long my students walk out of my room everyday encouraged to create, listen, and overall love music, I’ve done my job and with technology I can support that.”

    She uses her technology skills in and out of the classroom; she also a regular presenter about elementary music technology at educational conferences. PSU Music, Theatre and Dance Department chairman Dr. Jonthan Santore said Catie’s national recognition is not surprising.

    “When Catie was a student, she always exhibited strong interest in both technology and music education — we’re so proud of her bringing these interests together so strongly in her professional work,” said Santore.

    Dwinal was also proudly featured this year in National Association for Music Education’s October 2013 issue of Teaching Music magazine for her work with TI:ME commercial members Quaver Music and integrating technology into her classroom.

    The award was presented to Ms. Dwinal during the keynote presentation on Thursday, Feb. 13 at the TI:ME National Conference held in conjunction with the Texas Music Educators Association conference in San Antonio, Texas.

    PSU graduate Joseph Lee named New Hampshire’s 2014 Teacher of the Year

    October 17th, 2013 by Lynn

      2006 alumnus is Social Studies teacher, coach at Pinkerton Academy

      Joseph Lee

      PLYMOUTH — Plymouth State alumnus Joseph “Joey” Lee, ’06, has been chosen the 2014 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year by the New Hampshire Department of Education.

      Lee is a Social Studies teacher at Pinkerton Academy, currently teaching Cultural Geography. He coaches golf and boy’s hockey and is co-adviser for the China Exchange Program.

      “In order to help our students develop the skills and innovative thinking necessary to succeed in the 21st century economy, New Hampshire needs engaging, high-quality teachers like Joseph Lee,” Governor Maggie Hassan said. “Joseph’s dedication to his students at Pinkerton Academy and his work to help them achieve an even brighter future epitomizes the very best of our hard-working educators across the Granite State. I want to commend Joseph Lee for this well-deserved recognition and to thank all of New Hampshire’s educators for preparing our students to succeed and thrive.”

      Lee, who has been teaching at Pinkerton Academy for six years, said the education he received at Plymouth State from excellent faculty members prepared him to be an effective professional in the classroom.

      “They cared for my education, which inspired me to reach a little bit farther, try a little bit harder, explore slightly out of my comfort zone, and for that I am very thankful,” said Lee. “Each of my professors provided me with knowledge, motivation, and academic satisfaction. The strong, authentic, and sincere relationship between teacher and learner that goes beyond the classroom walls is what I believe makes Plymouth unique.”

      PSU President Sara Jayne Steen said the University is very proud of Lee.

      “Joey is a role model in his commitment to students and his field,” Steen said. “And he carries his values as an educator into his classrooms, onto the ice, and across the globe. He represents the best of New Hampshire educators in commitment, energy, and joy in his work. We are proud of him and his well- earned honor.”

      Each year, New Hampshire schools take part in the State and National Teacher of the Year Program. The National Teacher of the Year Program began in 1952 and continues as the oldest, most prestigious national honors program that focuses public attention on excellence in teaching.

      With the state award, Lee will be New Hampshire’s candidate for the national Teacher of the Year award, the oldest and most prestigious program to focus public attention on excellence in teaching. Lee is the second PSU-educated teacher to be selected as New Hampshire’s Teacher of the Year in the past four years; Angie Miller of Holderness Central School, a 2002 Plymouth State graduate, was selected in 2011.

      For more information about this and other award/recognition programs coordinated through the Department of Education log on to www.education.nh.gov/recognition/index.htm or contact Lori Temple, Public Information Officer at 271-6646 or e-mail Lori.Temple@doe.nh.gov.

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