South Strafford woman named Vermont's best teacher

Tuesday, September 16
SOUTH STRAFFORD - Diana Leddy, an elementary school teacher in South Strafford, was named Vermont's teacher of the year Tuesday.

Leddy, 48, a classroom teacher for 27 years and at the Newton School since 2003, was chosen by the state Board of Education.

For winning, she gets a $5,000 grant for classroom materials from Hannaford Bros. Co. and an interactive SMART board, which can connect to a computer to display a computer screen image on a large board, and software for her classroom.

"After 27 years, being a teacher still challenges and fascinates me," she wrote when she was nominated. "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, who graduated from Boston College and got a master's degree in education from Antioch New England, has pushed for statewide literacy, helped develop benchmarks for writing and standards-based curricula in reading, writing, science and social studies, according to the state Department of Education.

She also coordinated a collaborative project between the Strafford Historical Society, the Center for Health and Environmental Sciences at Dartmouth College and The Newton School to preserve the history of the Elizabeth Copper Mine and educate the public about federal cleanup of it.


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