September 3, 2008

Joyful Instruction: Teacher of the Year Quest Elementary's Nancy Johnstone 

The Hilton Central School Teachers Association 2008-09 Teacher of the Year is Quest Elementary School Primary Teacher Nancy Johnstone, a 31-year teaching veteran who has been teaching at Quest since 1997. A SUNY Potsdam and Canisius College graduate, she is originally from Seaford, Long Island. She has an interest in the world having spent a summer in Lesotho, South Africa “touring the countryside, walking hither and thither.” Teacher of the Year

Mrs. Johnstone is described by her colleague as a “priceless inspiration” whose “passion, love and enthusiasm are contagious.” She is notorious at Quest for her joie de vivre - her “happiness, laughter and goodness.” She teaches in a multi-age environment and strives to bring the global outlook into the classroom by adopting a soldier, using conversational Spanish, and incorporating the principles and attitudes of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program - caring, independent learners and inquirers. “For a small community, Hilton has a strong grasp of the needs of children,” she said. “Quest as a school has a lot of wisdom to it. People in the past were visionary - administrators, teachers, parents. This district gives teachers freedom to be who they are, supporting and training us and accepting each of us.”

Finalists for the award were: Terry Castle, High School; Wendy Mayer, HS; Pam Tenny, Merton Williams; Cheryl Sugrue, Merton Williams; Rachel Seaburn, Northwood; Patricia Mee, Northwood; Dottie Everhart, Village; Wendy Rusin, Village; Val Clark, Quest. Nominees must have more than five years of exceptional service to the District, active involvement in the Hilton community, and having made a impact on the lives of their students and colleagues.