Dept of Education Logo
Dept of Education Logo
Home | About Us | Accountability/Assessment | Certification | Data Collection & Reports | Innovations | Legislation/Hearings/Rules | NH Schools | Employment Opportunities | Contact Us | Search | Calendar
Department of Education - an official New Hampshire Government website
Smaller text size Reset text size Larger text size
skip navigation
students artwork

Tate Aldrich Named 2017 New Hampshire Teacher Of The Year

Commissioner of Education Virginia M. Barry, Ph.D., announced that Tate Aldrich, an English teacher at Laconia High School, is the 2017 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year. In receiving this award, Mr. Aldrich becomes New Hampshire’s candidate for National Teacher of the Year.

“This award and recognition builds community awareness about our finest schools and districts and showcases the extraordinary talent in our state. New Hampshire needs engaging, high-quality teachers like Tate Aldrich,” said Commissioner Barry. “Every year the selection committee is amazed by how difficult it is to select a recipient to continue the proud tradition of teaching excellence. Tate will serve as a leader and ambassador for all the outstanding teachers devoted to the highest level of student learning in their classrooms.”

Mr. Aldrich is entering his eighth year of teaching, all of them have been at Laconia High School. The selection committee recognized his ability to connect with students and help them achieve at high levels. He knows where his students are and how far he can push them. He also holds himself to a higher standard. Tate is also a dedicated teacher leader in his work with colleagues. He is involved in and out of the classroom. Most recently by the coordination of the spelling bee with Got Lunch! and joining “Stand Up Laconia.” The Spelling Bee's goal was not to simply celebrate the successes of our young learners but to provide a context for those successes.

His philosophy of teaching is that all students have the capacity to think critically about their world and the ability to access the humanity of others; therefore, it is the responsibility of their teachers to invest themselves in establishing relationships, which develop both the students’ minds and hearts.

Tate wrote in his application, “My greatest accomplishment as an educational leader at Laconia High School is also my department’s greatest accomplishment: achieving presence. Our hard work – along with our partnerships…has provided us a platform, from which we can continue to contribute and inspire another generation to contribute, as well.”

His former principal, Jim McCollum, wrote in his letter of recommendation, “As we seek to mold our kids toward the academic and social habits that will ensure success, Mr. Aldrich represents these goals in his behavior everyday.”

New Hampshire Teacher of the Year Finalists are: Elizabeth Alexakos, a first grade teacher at Clark Wilkins School, Amherst; Christine Broadley, a second grade teacher at North Walpole School; Nicole Canney, an English teacher at Pinkerton Academy; and Jill Pennington, a performing arts teacher at Campbell High School. Semi-finalists are: Greg Amend, an English/Reading teacher at Vilas Middle School, Alstead; Bonnie Painchaud, a fifth grade teacher at Loudon Elementary School; and Amy Steinberg, a fifth grade teacher at Lincoln Street School, Exeter.

In New Hampshire, Hannaford Supermarkets is proud to partner with the Department of Education to sponsor the New Hampshire Teacher of the Year program. As a company, Hannaford is committed to enriching the quality of life in the communities it serves. One way to do this is by supporting the Teacher of the Year Program that recognizes the significant contributions made by the many dedicated professionals who choose to make teaching their calling.

Each year, New Hampshire schools take part in the State and National Teacher of the Year Program. The National Teacher of the Year program, run by the Council of Chief State School Officers and presented by Voya Financial, identifies exceptional teachers in the country, recognizes their effective work in the classroom, amplifies their voices, and empowers them to participate in policy discussions at the state and national levels.

In early December, these semi-finalists, finalists, and the 2017 NH Teacher of the Year will be invited to a “Leadership in Education Banquet” to celebrate their accomplishments along with other distinguished educators in the State.

The selection process for the 2017 NH Teacher of the Year program was coordinated by a committee including: Jean-Marie Beauchemin, Deli, Bakery & Kitchen Field Merchandiser, Hannaford Supermarkets; Cindy Chagnon, NH State Board of Education; Liz Lichtenberg, 2015 NH Teacher of the Year; Peggy McAllister, Executive Director, NH Association of School Principals; Ashley Preston, 2016 NH Teacher of the Year; and Nicole Heimarck, Bureau of Educator Preparation Programs, NH Department of Education.

For more information about this and other award/recognition programs coordinated through the Department of Education log on to or contact Lori Kincaid, Public Information Officer at (603) 271-6646 or e-mail

To contact Laconia High School please call (603) 529-3350.

New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3494
Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711