MANCHESTER, NH —The New Hampshire Department of Education has announced that Ashley Preston, preschool teacher at Parker-Varney Elementary School, is the 2016 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year.
Preston was chosen from a large group of talented and dedicated educators in the state. The selection committee recognized her ability to help her young students be curious, critical thinkers and problem solvers.
“Preschool students are often underestimated, and I feel fortunate that I can be their voice, help them gain the recognition they deserve, and prove their learning is valuable,” Preston wrote in the application.
The surprise announcement was made during a school assembly, which Preston believed was about leadership. Little did she know that her parents, brothers, daughter and other family members were in the audience, waiting to watch her accept a prestigious award. School district administrators, board of school committee members, state board of education officials, city aldermen, and Mayor Gatsas also attended.
Preston has been teaching for nine years in Manchester. She says she looks at the whole child and sees the gains they made then finds ways to help them continue to grow and make progress.
“Ms. Preston is a natural educator,” said Parker-Varney principal Amy Allen. “She teaches her students to strive for excellence, to love reading to care about one another.”
With the Teacher of the Year title, Preston is New Hampshire’s candidate for National Teacher of the Year.