Academy Teacher Receives N.E. Honor

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By Nancy Rineman

Hampton Union, Tuesday, March 20, 2007

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

Christina Hamilton, a teacher at Hampton Academy, will receive the Promising Practitioner Award from the New England League of Middle Schools at its annual conference in Providence, R.I., at the end of March.
[Nancy Rineman photo]

HAMPTON -- As a second-year teacher at Hampton Academy, Christina Hamilton already has an impressive list of accomplishments, including an award from the New England League of Middle Schools.

Hamilton is an eighth-grade social studies teacher who takes her responsibility toward her students well beyond the classroom. It was that immediate passion and energy that quickly caught the attention of administrators and fellow teachers, as well.

"Christina (is) in her second year here, and already made her mark in her first year," said Hampton Academy Principal Fred Muscara.

Muscara said Hamilton stepped up to take on a variety of duties, including student council adviser and choral director.

"She's not afraid to try something new with the kids," Muscara said. "She challenges kids to be better than they think they can be."

Muscara said he feels the key to Hamilton's success is the fact that if she doesn't know something, she asks the question. The result is frequent collaboration with her teaching colleagues, Muscara said.

Muscara said Hamilton's internship in the Oyster River Cooperative School District through the University of New Hampshire did much to enhance her abilities. He said he was made aware of the NELMS Promising Practitioner Award by Deborah Joyce, curriculum facilitator for Hampton Academy.

Joyce said Hamilton encourages both creative and critical thinking in class discussions and assignments, and has a "firm grasp of (not only) her content but a great understanding of and for her students."

Joyce called Hamilton a "lifelong learner herself with varied interests outside of school such as music and drama."

"She makes her social studies curriculum come alive in her classroom with students actively participating in the learning process through research, historical simulations, historical trials and debates," Joyce said.

Hamilton spoke about her upcoming trip to Providence, R.I., to the NELMS annual conference, her love of teaching and the path that led her there.

"This school and the people I work with "¦ there is a wide range of things I could do and I like that," she said. "It's a really good team."

Hamilton said that team helped behind the scenes, enabling her to focus on numerous activities and projects. That staff support makes it possible for her to be one of three middle school educators in New England to be recognized at a reception on Sunday.

"She's just a jewel for Hampton Academy," Muscara said. "I'm just thrilled to have her here."

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