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Magnet school educator is named New London's Teacher of the Year

By Julianne Hanckel

Publication: The Day

Published 11/23/2012 12:00 AM
Updated 11/22/2012 11:37 PM

New London - A Science and Technology Magnet High School teacher has been named New London's Teacher of the Year.

Janet Farquhar, a science teacher and leader of the school's biomedical program, was recognized by the superintendent of schools and state education officials at a ceremony at the Bushnell Center for Performing Arts in Hartford last week.

Entering the medical profession and then moving to teaching wasn't a direct career path for Farquhar, who had had her sights set on becoming a doctor.

"That was my original goal, to become a doctor, but this position was just perfect because I have a much greater impact than I would have had if I went to medical school," she said.

Farquhar was selected as the school district's Teacher of the Year in June, but a formal announcement wasn't made until the beginning of this school year.

Before starting her career in New London, Farquhar did her student teaching in Waterford and then was a long-term substitute teacher in Ledyard.

After teaching at the magnet school for five years, Farquhar said that she didn't see herself "anywhere but here."

"The environment of this magnet school ... Lou (Allen) is incredible with the faculty. We have the freedom to do what we need to do in the classroom to get our kids from point A to point B," she said. "I don't think it's like that everywhere else."

To receive the award, Farquhar needed three nominations from the community and had to submit answers to essay questions in a 15-page application.

Magnet school Director Louis Allen said Monday that she probably received more than three nominations for the award because of her "contagious enthusiasm."

He said that every school district picks the teacher that "is the best of the best."

"A year and a half ago, she led the way to getting our biomedical program accredited," Allen said.

The school's biomedical program is the only accredited program in New England. Students who complete the course earn college credits through Purdue University.

"She took that program from 24 kids to over 100. She is very aggressive in pursuing her craft and is committed to the students," Allen said. "She gives 120 percent.”

j.hanckel@theday.com

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