, Derry, New Hampshire

October 3, 2013

Editorial: Top teacher brings honor to Pinkerton

Derry News

---- — Congratulations to Pinkerton Academy social studies teacher Joseph Lee, who was named the 2014 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year.

Lee, 29, was one of 36 teachers nominated for the award, presented annually by the state Department of Education. Lee was surprised with the honor last week at Pinkerton’s fall pep rally.

“Many students congratulated me,” Lee told reporter Julie Huss. “I am overwhelmed. Surreal, honored, humbled, also come to mind with excitement trumping all.”

Pinkerton faculty and students should be proud of Lee’s achievement. It reflects well on them as well as on the talented teacher. As a state winner, Lee is now eligible for the National Teacher of the year award. He will be able to attend the National Teacher of the Year conference in Arizona in January and also the National Teacher of the Year announcement ceremony next April in Washington.

“I am eager to represent New Hampshire and to collaborate with like-minded, motivated, and innovative educators from around the nation and the world,” Lee said. “I don’t know what the future will bring, but I do know that I am starting a journey, and am going to ride the wave as long as I can.”

In addition to teaching social studies, Lee leads the school’s golf and ice hockey teams and also is an advisor for Pinkerton’s China exchange program.

Lee earned praise from state and local officials.

Commission of Education Virginia Barry called Lee “a leader and ambassador for all the outstanding teachers devoted to the highest level of student learning in their classrooms.”

Pinkerton Academy Headmaster Mary Anderson said Lee is an enthusiastic and energetic educator.

“The kids like him, he relates the class materials to their level and he’s just a really deserving person for this,” she said.

Students at Pinkerton also had fond words for their teacher.

“He doesn’t always act like a teacher,” 14-year-old freshman Sarah Rickershause told Huss. “He brings a lot of fun.”

Freshman Derek Wilson said Lee is “brilliant.”

“He teaches things and ties it in with real world things,” Wilson said.

Congratulations to Lee on his outstanding achievement and best of luck in the National Teacher of the Year competition.

False alarms could bring fines

In Londonderry, the Fire Department is concerned that it is chasing too many false alarms. It’s dangerous as well as tedious: If firefighters are tied up on a false alarm call, that could delay their response to an actual fire.

So the department wants a new town ordinance that would assess a fine for excessive false alarms.

In the ordinance under consideration by the Town Council, the fee would be $50 for four or more false alarms; an excess of six false calls and the fee jumps to $100.

The Londonderry Fire Department answered 267 false alarms in 2013. The new ordinance could make that number drop drastically.

“We could maybe drop the percentage of calls by 80 percent,” said Brian Johnson, division chief of fire prevention. “I would be happy to cut that number in half.”

A fee for excessive false alarms is a good idea that would encourage proper maintenance and monitoring of alarm systems. The Town Council should enact the ordinance.