By Julie Huss
DERRY — For 15 years, Christopher Kellan has served the school district as director of student services.
The state is now honoring Kellan for his efforts, naming him Special Education Administrator of the Year through the New Hampshire Excellence in Education Awards program.
Kellan will receive the award at a gala event next month.
The School Board recognized Kellan for his work at a meeting May 2.
"We are very excited," Superintendent Mary Ellen Hannon said. "He should have been recognized before this time. He's awesome."
Kellan was chosen following a nomination process.
But he said it's all a team effort.
"I'm humbled to be honored," he said. "The award is a result of tremendous collaboration by a total community of people."
That community, Kellan said, includes school staff, administration, students and families — all the pieces of the puzzle that help special education services stay on track.
It truly is a village that supplies special education in this district," he said.
Hannon said Derry's special education success is well recognized around the state. She said many people have come up to her and asked questions about the local program and why it is so successful.
She credited Kellan's team and leadership style with making that success happen.
School Board Chairman Brenda Willis said Kellan is making a big difference in the lives of many children.
"It's not just here (in Derry)," she said, "but you are affecting kids all over the state."
Kellan said he has served under three superintendents in Derry and could not do his job without continued support from the administration.
"I am honored to work here and be supported by folks such as yourselves," he told the School Board. "It's truly a remarkable thing."
Kellan and other top educators/administrators around the state will be honored at the "ED"ies awards celebration on June 2 in Manchester.
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