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Winterport teacher receives national educator award

Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 5:26 PM EDT
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WINTERPORT, Maine (WABI) - A third grade teacher at the Leroy H. Smith School received quite the surprise on Tuesday.

Students dressed up as their favorite book characters at the school for a Read-A-Thon pep rally after completing over 75,000 minutes of reading.

But that wasn’t the only surprise Tuesday morning. One lucky teacher was about to receive the Milken Educator Award.

“It means that you are in the top 1% of K-12 educators,” said Stephanie Bishop, Vice president of Milken Educator Awards.

“The Milken Educator Award goes to Hillary Hoyt!” said Bishop announced the assembly.

“Miss Hoyt really is a spotlight for what we just think embodies a Milken educator,” Bishop added.

“She was able to have this award in front of all of her peers and her students.”

“She was able to have this award in front of all of her peers and her students,” said Superintendent Regan Nickels.

“I don’t think anybody would ever have guessed that I could become speechless. But surprise, I can,” said Hoyt.

“Hillary genuinely loves teaching, and she absolutely, as you can see, has energy and believes that she’s made into the teacher she is from all that around her,” said Nickels.

“I am extremely honored. But I do think that this is a huge shout out to what an incredible environment and community we have here at Smith School. I am who I am because I get to work here every day. I’m going to try really hard not to cry,” said Hoyt.

Hoyt is one of two educators in Maine and among more than 60 nationwide to receive this award for the 2021-2022 school year.

In June, Hoyt will join the other honorees in Los Angeles for the Milken Educators Awards Forum.

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