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HAVERHILL — Superintendent Maureen Lynch is pleased to announce that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education named Whittier Physical Education and Health Teacher Roxann Grover a semifinalist for its Massachusetts Teacher of the Year award.

Each year, the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year program honors an educator who exemplifies excellent teaching in the Commonwealth. The program also looks at the work involved in educating all students through highlighting student achievement, commitment to the profession, innovations in education and teacher leadership.

Grover will be honored with other semifinalists and finalists at a banquet at the State House on June 20.

“It was such an honor to be nominated and then selected to the semifinalist round,” Grover said. “It validates the profession of health and physical education and the things we do as teachers everyday to make sure students understand that their well-being is the most important thing in their lives.”

Whittier’s Curriculum Coordinator Kelly Fay nominated Grover earlier this year, highlighting her dedication to students and wellness education for the last 40 years. She’s helped parents recognize the signs their children might be using drugs or alcohol through “Hidden in Plain Sight” events, organized walks for hunger to raise money for Project Bread and led food drives throughout the community to benefit Haverhill’s local food pantry, Our Neighbors Table.

Grover has also organized bullying prevention activities and walks to raise awareness for domestic violence, with proceeds going to a local women’s shelter. She even helped organize a Whittier Relay for Life team, where over a two-day period, students came together to remember their loved ones who lost the battle to cancer, honor survivors and raise money to help the Haverhill community.

Through her physical education and health classes, Grover educates the entire Whittier community on the value of activity, health, nutrition, recreation, teamwork, sportsmanship and social interaction. She also serves as a mentor for students, teachers and staff throughout the building, as well as in the community.

“Roxann is uncompromising in her quest for quality educational opportunities for the whole student and she never loses sight of her students and their needs,” Fay wrote. “Roxann is a true team player and she is a valued member of our school community, the Haverhill community and the entire Merrimack Valley overall with her combination of intelligence, commitment, perseverance, creativity and compassion for everyone she encounters.”

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