Students shine at Disney

DERRY — During the recent school vacation week, Pinkerton Academy band and chorus students headed south to Orlando to compete in the Festival Disney music competition at Disney's Contemporary Resort and Saratoga Springs performance venues.

"Pinkerton was extremely well-represented at the festival," said Sandra Olson, Pinkerton music teacher. "Our talented students performed very challenging music for renowned collegiate music directors, who had only positive things to point out to all of our performing groups.

The Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Band earned Excellent ratings. The Chorale and Select Choirs also performed well and earned Superior ratings across the board, bringing home two first-place trophies and a Best in Class trophy. This is the first time the chorus has brought home double gold ratings.

Educators honored at conference

DERRY — Barbara Hopkins and Robert Schroeder were presented with the prestigious Howard I. Wagner Award on Saturday, May 4, at the New Hampshire Science Teachers’ Association’s (NHSTA) annual Spring Science Conference held at Pinkerton Academy.

The Howard I. Wagner Award is presented in recognition of those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science education which extend beyond excellence in the classroom.

Barbara Hopkins began her career in the Seacoast region first, as an environmental scientist and then a classroom teacher for 14 years. She served as the associate director for the Leitzel Center for Science, Math, and Engineering Education at UNH, and the curriculum coordinator for STEM at the Timberlane Regional School District. Her career path later lead her to the assistant superintendent position at SAU 21 and then, in 2016, as the Director of Science Education at the New Hampshire Department of Education.

Robert Schroeder was also honored at Saturday’s conference as a second recipient of a Wagner Award. After serving in the Navy, he earned his education degrees from UNH and began his career in 1980 as an elementary teacher at Swasey Central School in Brentwood. His student centered classroom fosters the natural curiosity of his young students through clubs and exploration, most notably the Take-It-Apart club and his tree root archeology program.

The NHSTA also recognized Fran Leach from Gilbert H. Hood Middle School in Derry with the Experienced Science Educator Award. The NHSTA bestows this award to an educator who has taught for more than five years and who models dedication and exemplary teaching in the field of science education.

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