5 Manchester teachers among 2024 NH Teacher of the Year semi-finalists

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2024 NH Teacher of the Year Semi-Finalists.

CONCORD, NH Manchester School District this year is dominating the field of educational excellence, with the announcement Friday of this year’s 20 semi-finalists for the 2024 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year Award – the highest number of semi-finalists ever recognized.

Among them are five Manchester teachers, the most from any district: Karen Cyr-Condon of Southside Middle School; Justine Dube of Parker-Varney Elementary School; Anna Jennison of Beech Street Elementary; Gregory Parker of Manchester Memorial High School; and Natalie Sears of Central High School.

Superintendent of Schools Jennifer Gillis expressed her pride in the district’s teaching staff.

“I could not be more proud of all our educators who were nominated, and now we have five who have moved on to the semi-finalist stage. I want to take this opportunity to offer my heartfelt thanks to our staff as well as to the community members who nominated them. Our community is fortunate to have an amazing group of talented, dedicated educators at each of our schools, and this recognition shows that our staff stands out among the best in the state,” Gillis said.

The teachers were selected from a record number of 92 nominees and included educators from every sector of the state. There were 28 teachers from Manchester School District among the 92 nominees.

Of the district’s overall strong showing, Gillis said teaching excellence is evident across the board.

“Our nominees cover all levels, from pre-kindergarten up through high school, and represent 16 different schools. This is truly a testament to the dedication of our staff, and we thank the families, staff and community members who brought forward these nominations,” Gillis said.

The District is planning a special year-end event in collaboration with Manchester Proud to honor the 28 nominees. More information on that event is forthcoming.

Below are the 28 teachers from Manchester School District who were nominated for the honor of NH Teacher of the Year followed by the list of 20 semi-finalists.

Ryan Burgess – Central High School
Lisa Cole – Highland-Goffe’s Falls Elementary School
David Coulon – Highland-Goffe’s Falls Elementary School
Nicole Cruz – Memorial High School
Karen Cyr-Condon – Southside Middle School
Kayla Dantos – Bakersville Elementary School
Alicia Doucet – Southside Middle School
Justine Dube – Parker Varney School
Suzanne Fraher – Northwest Elementary School
Jennifer Gagnon – Northwest Elementary School
Abigail Gemme – Central High School
Sarah Gerome – Bakersville Elementary School/Bishop O’Neil
Sara Getchell – Wilson Elementary School
Martha Gomez – Memorial High School
Anna Jennison – Beech Street School
Elizabeth Kennedy – Green Acres Elementary School
Erica Livingstone – McDonough Elementary School
Erica McMahon – Wilson Elementary School
Gregory Parker – Memorial High School
Joseph Perry – Manchester School of Technology
Tina Proulx – the Middle School at Parkside
Natalie Sears – Central High School
Diane Shaffer – Highland-Goffe’s Falls Elementary School
Kryslin Sheilds – Highland-Goffe’s Falls Elementary School
Stephanie Simpson – Gossler Park School
Debra Todd – Northwest Elementary School
Michael Torgersen – Webster School
Allison Vanagel – West High School

The statewide list of semi-finalists is below:

First Name Last Name Teacher’s School Town
Eric Bowman Contoocook Valley Regional High School Peterborough
Ritu Budakoti Keene Middle School Keene
Heather Burkett Hampstead Central School Hampstead
Karen Cyr-Condon Southside Middle School Manchester
Jacqueline DeFreze Rye Elementary School Rye
Sean Donahue McKelvie Intermediate School Bedford
Kimberly Dorman Colebrook Academy and Elementary School Colebrook
Justine Dube Parker-Varney Elementary School Manchester
Elizabeth Duclos Pembroke Hill School Pembroke
Erin Hollingsworth Gilmanton School Gilmanton IW
Anna Jennison Beech Street School Manchester
Jennifer Lambert Groveton Elementary School Groveton
Caitlin Lomando Mt. Pleasant School Nashua
Jennifer Menken Hooksett Memorial School Hooksett
Gregory Parker Manchester Memorial High School Manchester
Robert Pooler Hollis Upper Elementary School Hollis
Natalie Sears Manchester Central High School Manchester
Sarah Strauss Clark-Wilkins Elementary School Amherst
Scott Thibodeau Pembroke Academy Pembroke
Andrea von Oeyen Oyster River Middle/High Schools Durham

“This year we had an impeccable group of educators who were nominated. We believe this cohort of semi-finalists represent some of the very best of New Hampshire’s talented and devoted field of teachers – teachers that deserve both praise and gratitude for their commitment to today’s youth,” said Christine Brennan, deputy commissioner of education.

Commissioner Frank Edelblut echoed those sentiments, adding the twenty semi-finalists showcase the proud tradition of teaching excellence in the Granite State. “We are thrilled to recognize so many educators who are setting the bar high and truly making a difference for our students,” he said, adding the teaching profession in New Hampshire – with a record number of educator renewals last year – is defying national trends.

A final recipient will be selected this fall. The 2024 Teacher of the Year will be New Hampshire’s entrant in the National Teacher of the Year program, which is run by the Council of Chief State School Officers.

About this Author

Carol Robidoux

PublisherManchester Ink Link

Longtime NH journalist and publisher of ManchesterInkLink.com. Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!