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Anne Marie Bettencourt of Hatfield named Massachusetts Teacher of Year

Bettencourt received the honor Tuesday from state Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester.

Bettencourt, a New Bedford native, originally went to Syracuse University to study screen writing. While in college she developed a passion for education when she mentored children at a youth center and spent two summers teaching seventh- and eighth-graders in Providence, R.I.

Bettencourt believes her greatest contribution to her students is getting them to realize their hidden potential by instilling in them the confidence and belief that they can achieve greatness.

Gov. Deval Patrick praised her for her “passion and commitment.”

Bettencourt automatically becomes the state’s candidate for the national award.

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