North Adams Transcript
WILLIAMSTOWN -- As a child, Paula Plock loved playing school with her friends, especially when it was her turn to play the teacher.
"It’s what we would do on a rainy day. I remember we had this chalkboard and chalk in the cellar of the house where we played," Plock, who teaches fifth grade at Williamstown Ele mentary School, said Monday.
Little did she know that de cades later she would be honored at the State House in Boston for be ing one of six finalists for the 2012-2013 Mass achusetts Teacher of the Year award.
"To have this for something you love to do every day is just amazing," Plock said after returning from the awards ceremony Monday night.
For the past 39 years as a teacher, she has been getting up in the morning to go to school -- not work -- she said.
"It’s the students, of course, that keep me here," she said.
It’s an honor to receive the award and to represent teachers who work so hard every day, she said.
"I’ve worked with so many wonderful teachers, and it’s quite an honor to represent them."
During the ceremony, Plock received a plaque, a certificate and a $2,000 grant from Han naford Supermarkets to use toward anything in her classroom.
"The whole thing was unbelievably exciting," Plock said.
To be there with Gov. Deval Patrick, state Education Sec retary Paul Reville and other state education officials was
"You also had all these teachers who are so dedicated and wonderful, and they are inspiring to me," she said.
Plock, who grew up in Na tick, received a bachelor’s degree in education from North Adams State College (now Massachu setts College of Liberal Arts). She also has a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Vermont, and she is a certified reading specialist. She has taught at Willi amstown Elementary School for the past 18 years. Prior to that, she taught at Stamford Elementary School. She and her husband, Ron, live in Stamford, Vt.
Joelle Brookner, principal of Williamstown Elementary School, said Tuesday that Plock is a dedicated educator, and everyone at the school is extremely proud of her for being recognized.
"I think often times, teachers in the eastern part of the state who are closer to the hub of government are recognized more, and it’s a big honor that a teacher way out here in the western part of the state was recognized," she said.
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