News Releases

September 16, 2008

Newton School Teacher Named 2009 Vermont Teacher of the Year

MONTPELIER – Diana Leddy, a grade three, four and five teacher at The Newton School in South Strafford, was named by the State Board of Education as the 2009 Vermont Teacher of the Year at a ceremony held today at the school.

Also honored were:

• Alternate Kathryn Grace, a literacy and special education teacher at Founders Memorial in Essex Junction.

• Finalists Sandra Frizzell, an English teacher at North Country Union High School and Dr. Jonathan Rice, a science teacher at Green Mountain Union High School.

As the 2009 Teacher of the Year, Leddy will travel statewide and nationally visiting schools and working with teachers. In addition, she is Vermont’s candidate for the National Teacher of the Year award, sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers. She will also travel to Washington, D.C. this spring for a reception at the White House.

State Board members visited Leddy’s classroom this morning prior to a school-wide assembly. A lunchtime ceremony included remarks by Leddy, 2008 Vermont Teacher of the Year Diane Bahrenberg, Acting Education Commissioner Bill Talbott and State Board Vice-chair Ruth Stokes. The student body was present as well. Leddy was presented with SMART Board ™ equipment and software for her classroom, with software and materials going to each of the two finalists. In addition, the Department of Education donated $5,000 towards classroom-related supplies and activies.

Leddy, a resident of Thetford Center, has been an educator at The Newton School since 2003. She has been a classroom teacher for 27 years, 25 in Vermont. She received a B.A. studying Elementary and Special Education at Boston College. She earned her Masters in Education with a concentration on curriculum and assessment from Antioch New England Graduate School.

“After 27 years, being a teacher still challenges and fascinates me,” she wrote in her nomination packet. “I want to refine the continually evolving vision that I have of a quality classroom, and to experiment with new tools that bring me closer to that ideal. I bring the understanding that real growth often involves the painful questioning of long-held assumptions and the ability to let go of old ways.”

Leddy has been active in advocating for statewide literacy for over a decade. She worked on statewide teams to develop Vermont’s Primary Benchmarks for Writing, and to plan and lead Vermont’s first Primary Writing Network. She worked on Department of Education teams with other educators to develop the Vermont Grade Expectations in writing, and on item review for the statewide assessment, New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP), in grades three through eight. She worked with area teachers to create standards-based units and curricula in reading, writing, science and social studies. She also serves on the school’s action planning committee, and she helped found the Vermont Writing Collaborative.

In addition, Leddy coordinated a collaborative project between the Strafford Historical Society, the Center for Health and Environmental Sciences at Dartmouth College and The Newton School designed to preserve the history of the Elizabeth Copper Mine and to educate the community about the Environmental Protection Agency clean-up of the site.

The Vermont Teacher of the Year program is sponsored by Hannaford Bros.

For more information, contact Jill Remick at the Department of Education at (802) 828-3154, or at

Source: Department of Education
Last Updated at: September 16, 2008 16:25:14