2017-2018 Teacher Of the Year Award Recipient Kristen Keska

Kristen Keska Teacher of the year with Administrators2017 Teacher of the Year Kristen Keska with Superintendent of Schools Paul Smith, 2016 Teacher of the Year Christina Amaral (left) and Assistant High School Principal Michael Dalton and Interim High School Principal Nancy Briere (right)

Kristen Keska Teacher of the year with Principals

Teacher of the Year Kristen Keska with Assistant High School Principal Michael Dalton and Interim High School Principal Nancy Briere

The 2017-18 Teacher of the Year is Kristen Keska,

Social Studies Teacher at East Hampton High School.

The East Hampton Teacher of the Year in conjunction with the State of Connecticut Teacher of the Year Program has as its purpose to recognize and honor teacher excellence. Today we celebrate excellence in teaching by recognizing one of our many teachers who have inspired a love for learning in their students and who have distinguished themselves in the profession.

Kristen had a very exciting summer as one of 30 educators from across the nation selected to attend C-SPAN Classroom’s 2017 Educators’ Conference. The event took place on July 27 and 28 in Washington, D.C. Kristen competed with high school teachers from across the country to secure a place at the conference. A panel of C-SPAN representatives evaluated nominees based on their dedication to learning new resources, applying them in the classroom environment, and sharing their professional development experiences in their academic communities.

In her application Kristen mentioned, “Every year, I look for ways of gaining world experiences to enhance my teaching of modern United States History, AP Government, and World Geography. I love to travel. Everywhere I go, I visit museums, participate in eco-tourism, and visit historical sites to add content and resources to my classroom.” And, she added, “Of everything I do, I think my history geekiness inspires my students the most.”

One of her nominators bragged that “Kristen practices what she preaches. Kristen advocates for public school education at the local, state, and national levels, going as far as testifying in Hartford at the Legislative Office Building. Her modeling of how to become more civic-minded is a lifelong lesson to all her students and staff in East Hampton and beyond.”

Principal John Fidler was very excited that Kristen was chosen this year. Early in the summer, John was excited about her recognition and wrote for today’s celebration, “As an educator, Kristen Keska brings to her classroom the perfect blend of passion, hard work, and innovation. She combines all of those elements daily, exposing her students to new content, skills, technology, and ways of viewing and perceiving the world. As a model of lifelong learning, Kristen spends a part of most summers continuing to pursue her passion for social studies. She had previously attended a Gilder Lehrman conference on the Supreme Court held at Stanford University and this summer she attended a second institute on US Foreign and Domestic Politics during the 70s. This summer Kristen was also selected to participate in a CSPAN conference for educators held in Washington DC. What Kristen takes from these experiences is immediately put into action with her students in the classroom. In addition to her passion and tremendous bank of content knowledge, Kristen keeps herself at the forefront of technology and its implementation in the classroom. She has been a pioneer in the use of Google Docs and Google Classroom and has led several professional development workshops for our staff on its effective classroom implementation. On top of everything else she does, Kristen has led our Interact Club to become the largest club activity in the school with students participating in countless hours of community service throughout the year. We are so very proud of Kristen and her most deserving recognition as Teacher of the Year.”

As a school district we are proud that Kristen will represent our staff of East Hampton Teachers this school year, 2017-18. She will be recognized at the Bushnell Theater at the annual State of Connecticut Teacher of the Year Celebration on Wednesday, November 15 representing all teachers, schools, and community of East Hampton.

- remarks by Superintendent of Schools Paul K. Smith