A teacher from North Branford was named the teacher of year in Connecticut on Tuesday.
The Connecticut Department of Education named Lauren Danner the 2017 Connecticut teacher of the year. Danner is a general science and biology teacher at North Branford High School where she has taught for seven years.
Danner is known for lessons that have "activities and student discourse centered around real-world connections to scientific phenomena." She also "regularly incorporates technology in her classroom as a strategy to increase student engagement and collaboration, while providing opportunities to assess and monitor student growth."
Danner said the award is "a tremendous honor and this recognition means so much to me and our entire school community."
"“The outpouring of support from students, families, faculty, and community members during the selection process has been overwhelming and the entire experience is something that I will always treasure. I am humbled and honored to be representing my phenomenal colleagues in North Branford as well as the hard-working and dedicated teachers across the state of Connecticut," Danner said.
Eyewitness News was there when the governor surprised Danner with the announcement in her classroom on Tuesday afternoon.
Danner was chosen from four finalists, 15 semifinalists and more 100 district-level teacher of the year winners.
Her teaching career started at Beecher Road School, which is a PK-6 elementary school in Woodbridge. Danner was an intern at Beecher Road School. She went on to eighth grade science at Bailey Middle School in West Haven.
Since 2014, Danner has the science department leader for grades 9th to 12th. Danner is also a member of the North Branford High School data team, faculty council, and district technology team.
Gov. Dannel Malloy said teachers such as Danner "make a real difference in the lives of students they serve."
“As a high school biology teacher, Mrs. Danner has the power to ignite a love of science that will carry her students far and hopefully inspire some of them to pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math Congratulations to Mrs. Danner on being named the 2017 Teacher of the Year and thank you to all of our teachers for the work that you do each day on behalf of Connecticut children,"Malloy said.
Danner and Malloy addressed the student body and her fellow teachers after the announcement.
State Department of Education Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell called Danner "outstanding teacher" as well as "an inspiration to all of us who seek to deliver on the promise of an excellent education for every student."
“Like so many teachers, Lauren is a model of dedication, passion, and enthusiasm for the important work we do. I’m certain that her students, colleagues, family, friends, and entire community share in the pride that accompanies such recognition," Wentzell said.
We'll have more on this story on Eyewitness News starting at 5 p.m.
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