---- — DERRY — Teachers and staff at Gilbert H. Hood Middle School honored one of their own last week.
The school named eighth-grade science teacher Jolene McWhirter as its Teacher of the Month.
The awards are hosted by the Derry Education Association and given regularly to a teacher or staff member who goes above and beyond the call of duty at the school.
McWhirter received her award and flowers during a surprise staff meeting April 29.
Each month, a different school and teacher is in the spotlight for the awards.
In the nomination letter, Hood staff member Stephanie Duxbury called McWhirter a dedicated teacher who embodies all the qualities that make for a successful educator.
“She is inventive, inspiring,” Duxbury wrote in her letter. “You name it, Jolene has it.”
Duxbury also said McWhirter is the “glue that holds the team together.”
McWhirter has been teaching at Hood for 12 years. She previously taught English and physical education in Ecuador.
She said her award should be shared by everyone at Hood.
“The staff here is so supportive,” she said. “We do everything together and it makes it easier.
The Derry Education Association regularly honors district teachers for their educational work and commitment to the schools.