Señor Chamberlin nominated for 2015 Teacher of the Year

Spanish teacher Kerry Chamberlin answers a student’s questions before class begins

For twenty-one years Concord High School Spanish teacher Kerry Chamberlin has sought one reward: to see his students grow.

His goal is to know that by the end of their fifth year in Spanish, “they can all survive in any Spanish country.”

Students and parents wished to see him rewarded publicly, though, and recently some nominated him for 2015 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year.

Chamberlin had known of the program before, since it has been around for a while. He learned that he was nominated by the parent of one of his current students. “I’ve had two of their children,” Chamberlin explained.

“A Teacher of the Year candidate should be an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled person,” according to NH Department of Education contest materials.
Chamberlin has demonstrated these qualities in his passion for teaching for sixteen years at CHS and for five years at Timberlane High School.
CHS students look forward to having “Señor” as a teacher. Ryan Donnelly, current in Spanish V, described Chamberlin as “an ‘hombre’ who puts emphasis on practical use of the language. His goal is to have students be proficient in Spanish outside of the classroom.”
“Señor is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. He actually knows what he is teaching, which is always a plus,” said senior Claire Celestin, a student in Chamberlin’s Spanish V class.
Even younger students appreciate Chamberlin’s commitment to teaching the language. “He makes us speak Spanish, which helps us be confident if we ever need to use the language.” said Andrew Grondin, a junior at CHS.
Chamberlin said his favorite part of the job is “coming to class, shutting the door, knowing these guys are all mine and we can have a blast.”
Thirty-five teachers were nominated statewide from all different levels of teaching. From these nominees, eight semifinalists were chosen and then narrowed down to four or five semifinalists. Judges select the winner for Teacher of the Year after visiting classrooms.
“I know I didn’t win,” said Chamberlin, “but it was definitely an honor being nominated for this. I was blown away by some of the other teachers.” Many of the elementary school and art teachers at the conference for nominees were “extremely creative.”
Chamberlin’s students understand that through his teaching and their dedication to the language, they have the potential to be fluent in Spanish prior to graduation.
Chamberlin said he especially enjoys teaching upper levels of Spanish because by that point, they’ve acquired enough fluency that “they can say anything they want.”

Chamberlin also enjoys seeing where former students have gone in life. “I ran into one of my students from my first year teaching,” Chamberlin said. “He’s now the principal at Sanborn High School.”


NOTE: This report was updated May 7 to include additional quotes from students (Claire Celestin and Andrew Grondin) and to correct a typographical error on the part of the editor.