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Anne Marie Bettencourt of Hatfield named Massachusetts Teacher of Year

  • JERREY ROBERTS<br/>Daniel Zukergood and Anne Marie Bettencourt, authors of the book "Teaching in the Real World" talk about their book Thursday in the office/studio of  Zukergood's home in Holyoke.

    JERREY ROBERTS
    Daniel Zukergood and Anne Marie Bettencourt, authors of the book "Teaching in the Real World" talk about their book Thursday in the office/studio of Zukergood's home in Holyoke. Purchase photo reprints »

  • JERREY ROBERTS<br/>Daniel Zukergood and Anne Marie Bettencourt, authors of the book "Teaching in the Real World" Thursday at Zukergood's home in Holyoke.

    JERREY ROBERTS
    Daniel Zukergood and Anne Marie Bettencourt, authors of the book "Teaching in the Real World" Thursday at Zukergood's home in Holyoke. Purchase photo reprints »

  • JERREY ROBERTS<br/>Daniel Zukergood and Anne Marie Bettencourt, authors of the book "Teaching in the Real World" talk about their book Thursday in the office/studio of  Zukergood's home in Holyoke.
  • JERREY ROBERTS<br/>Daniel Zukergood and Anne Marie Bettencourt, authors of the book "Teaching in the Real World" Thursday at Zukergood's home in Holyoke.

Hatfield resident and Springfield Central High School English teacher Anne Marie Bettencourt has been named 2013 Teacher of the Year. Bettencourt is the state’s 52nd recipient of this award and automatically becomes the state’s candidate for the National Teacher of the Year Program.

Bettencourt was presented with her award Tuesday morning at Springfield Central High School in a ceremony that included Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and State Sen. Jim Welch.

“I was tickled pink to be able to give this award to Ann Marie,” Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester said. “She is a very deserving recipient and she is emblematic of the excellent teachers we have here in the commonwealth.”

Originally from New Bedford, Bettencourt, 31, graduated from New Bedford High School and Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y. After receiving a master’s degree in education from Springfield College in 2006, she began her teaching career as a seventh-grade English language arts teacher at Chestnut Middle School in Springfield. Since 2008, Bettencourt has taught English to ninth-graders at Springfield Central High School.

“The one thing that really impresses me about Ann Marie is that she is someone who knows, from a very personal level, the great impact that a teacher can make,” Chester said.

According to school officials, in 2012, more than 90 percent of the students Bettencourt taught moved on to the 10th grade as compared to roughly 50 percent of ninth-graders across the district.

For the past three years, Bettencourt has also served as a mentor for student teachers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Springfield College. She currently works with the Western Massachusetts Writing Project, a local initiative to improve learning in schools by bringing together educators to deepen their individual and collective experiences as writers.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Springfield Public Schools Superintendent Daniel J. Warwick described Bettencourt as “a consummate professional who is committed to helping all students reach their potential. Her work with ninth-graders is truly remarkable.”

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