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Southeastern CT Home to Magnet School Teacher of the Year

Janet Farquhar stands out among her peers throughout New England, New York and New Jersey, and she now has a chance at being named the national magnet school teacher of the year.

Janet Farquhar. Credit: New London Public Schools
Janet Farquhar. Credit: New London Public Schools

A "driving force" behing the success of the Science and Technology Magnet High School of Southeastern Connecticut, Janet Farquhar has been named the 2014 Teacher of the Year by Region 1 Magnet Schools of America (MSA).

Farquhar, a science and biomedical teacher, was selected from an applicant pool of magnet school teachers from throughout Region 1, which includes the six New England states, as well as New York and New Jersey.

Farquhar was hired six years ago to teach and grow the biomedical program developed by Project Lead The Way at the science, technology, engineering and mathematics-themed magnet high school. Since then, the school’s biomedical program now consists of approximately one-third of the more than 350 STMHS students, and became the first nationally certified program of its kind in New England in 2011.

“Janet has been a driving force in the ever growing success of our school. Her passionate commitment, vision, and enthusiasm motivates others to become involved and encourages collaboration widely across all levels of our staff and community,” magnet school Director Louis E. Allen, wrote in Farquhar's recommendation letter. “…She employs the latest instructional strategies and technologies. She can reach a troubled or struggling student with simple, yet profound instincts and empathy coupled with complete professionalism.”

As the MSA Region 1 Teacher of the Year, Farquhar will compete against as many as seven other regional candidates for MSA’s National Teacher of the Year award. The winner will be announced at the National Magnet Schools of America conference, held in Hartford, Conn., from May 15-17.

“Of 100 possible points on this year’s application, Janet scored a 99,” Art Arpin, Connecticut Association of Interdistrict Magnet Schools co-president and Region 1 director of MSA said. “This will be great to have our Region 1 Teacher of the Year from New London and our Region 1 Principal of the Year from Hartford. Connecticut is certainly well represented.”

Arpin is also the principal of the Connecticut IB Academy in East Hartford. He said that the comments on her application were all in high praise of her efforts to build the magnet school’s biomedical programs and leadership abilities.

He read from some of the judge’s comments: 

  • “…excited that she’s involved in the national science organization … that she helped create the school’s biomedical program…" 
  • "I like that she has also done MSA presentations…" 
  • "There is strong evidence of collaboration … like the idea of community partnership…" 
  • "I want to take her class.”

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