Franklin County Technical School Special Education Teacher Lynne Paju has been selected to receive this year’s Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award given by the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation.
Paju, who has been teaching at FCTS for three years, was surprised to learn that she had won the award.
“There are so many talented and excellent teachers at this school,” she said. “It’s nice to get the acknowledgement. I’m honored. I’ll try to be worthy of the award.”
The Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes exceptional public and parochial school teachers in the region for their dedication to enhancing education. The awards are presented based on excellence in teaching practices, the teacher’s own professional development, good attendance on the job, and enthusiasm for teaching and working with children.
“I love the kids here,” Paju said. “I really care about the wellbeing of the students. I try to find a way with each student to know how they learn best and help them feel good about themselves. I try to help them to become happy members of society. I love teaching and I’m learning every day.”
Paju was nominated for the award by the FCTS administrative team. Principal Shawn Rickan said the administrators picked Paju because she is “reliable, responsible and has a high enthusiasm for the profession.”
A native of Colonie, New York, Paju began teaching at Franklin County Technical School in the fall of 2013. She is currently a resident of Northampton.
Paju earned her bachelor’s degree from SUNY Plattsburgh, Outdoor Leadership Certification from Greenfield Community College, and her master’s degree from Fitchburg State College.
Paju and other recipients of the Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award will be honored at a banquet on April 28 at The Log Cabin in Holyoke.