Craig Divis, a history teacher and tennis coach at Bellows Falls Union High School, was recently honored as "Vermont Teacher of the Year" by the State Board of Education.
Divis was presented the award at Bellows Falls Union High School by Commissioner of Education Armando Vilaseca, after their monthly board meeting.
"I first heard that I had been awarded Teacher of the Year in late August before school started," Divis said in a recent interview.
"Tina Muncy, the award coordinator from the Vermont Department of Education, came to each of the finalists schools to let them know about their decision, and it was at that time that she told me that I had been selected as the Teacher of the Year, the difficult part was having to keep it a secret until yesterday when it was announced to the public."
The Teacher of the Year is chosen through a specific nomination, application and selection process.
Through these national guidelines, Vermont chooses a candidate who is "dedicated, highly skilled, and proven capable of teaching and inspiring students of all backgrounds."
Divis was nominated by BFUHS principal Christopher Hodsden, a process which also included the Board of Education conducting several interviews with Divis, along with visits to his classroom to get a first-hand look at his teaching abilities and interactions with his students.
"I was interviewed in Montpelier by about a dozen people which included past Teachers of the Year, superintendents, principals and members of the State Board of Education," Divis said.
"It was very stressful, but I felt very comfortable talking about the students at my school and the quality education that I feel BFUHS offers.
"Then, a few months later after being told that I was a finalist, a panel of past Teachers of the Year and Tina Muncy, also observed me in the classroom."