What’s that old adage about the student becoming the teacher?

Just ask students at ConVal Regional High School. On March 15, seven students from the Region 14 Applied Technology Center at the high school competed in the Educators Rising NH state competition, which tested their knowledge and skills in education.

Three students — senior Leah Stone of Antrim and juniors Tracie Dailey of Peterborough and Molly Reed of Bennington — qualified to move on to the national contest in Dallas in June.

This is the first year the school’s Educators Rising club — which is open to juniors and seniors in the teacher education multiple levels program at the career and technical education center — has sent students to the competition, according to instructor Sarah Grossi.

Students were able to compete in a range of categories, from “creative lecture” to “ethical dilemma” to “researching learning challenges.”

Tracie and Molly worked together to enter the “pre-K children’s literature” category. They wrote and illustrated their own children’s book, “Farm Animals Take On Hawaii,” and then read the story to a panel of judges. The pair took fourth place at the state competition.

“We made it so the story was textured, because we’ve learned through (courses in) child growth and careers in ed that children really like hands-on books, so they could touch and feel different things in the story,” Molly said.

Leah took second place in the job interview category, which required her to write a resume and cover letter using her real qualifications and then attend a mock interview for a paraprofessional position on the day of the competition.

She said she was excited to learn that, through her courses at the center and internships outside of school, she already has some of the necessary qualifications for a career in education.

“Doing the mock interview is going to get me prepared for after college and just the college process,” Leah said. “That’s kind of why I chose it a little bit because it’s very real in my life right now.”

Before the national competition in June, the students will receive feedback from the judges that will help them prepare, Grossi said. The state competition was also a good opportunity for them to meet students from other schools who are also interested in the field, she noted.

“So they made friends or acquaintances, connections with students from Concord, Plymouth, from Keene, from the White Mountain region,” Grossi said.

The three students noted that the teacher education courses at Region 14 have been very hands-on, providing opportunities to work directly with children at daycare centers and schools in the region. They’ve each received dual enrollment credit from Nashua Community College, which they will be able to use toward a degree if they decide to pursue one.

Molly and Leah said they’re both interested in careers as teachers; Tracie said she wants to continue working with children.

“I want to be a social worker with children, helping them out and making sure they’re in the right spot,” Tracie said. “I just like to help children more than anything.”

Troy students celebrate Pi Day

This month, students at Troy Elementary School celebrated Pi Day with a full day of math-oriented games and activities. According to teacher Molly Linn-Wulff, the school first began celebrating Pi Day five years ago with a math game night.

Last year, the school decided to dedicate a whole day to the event for the first time, inviting families to come and join in on the fun. This year, the day featured about 25 games, such as Connect Four, dice games, critical-thinking games and more. Students also got the opportunity to show off their memorization skills with a competition to memorize as many digits of pi as possible.

Nearly $500 worth of prizes were given out thanks to donations from local businesses, including ReMax Town and Country, Keep’em Healthy Veterinary Clinic, Savings Bank of Walpole, Troy Power Sports, Hannaford, Walmart, Davis Oil, D.R. Electric and the Troy School PTO.

And of course, no Pi Day would be complete without homemade pie to enjoy.

“The best part about Pi Day at Troy school is student engagement,” Linn-Wulff said. “The students are teaching one another, learning together and challenging each other all in the name of fun and learning!”

Keene Middle Schoolers win art awards

Two students from Keene Middle School won top awards at the New Hampshire Art Education Association‘s 2019 Youth Art Month Exhibit. Seventh-grader Cadence Manuel was the 2019 YAM Flag Winner for her Youth Art Month poster, and 8th-grader Lillian Henderson received the Sargent Art Award in the middle school category for her ceramic sculpture “Fawn.”

The students will be honored in an awards ceremony during the exhibit’s closing reception at the N.H. State Library in Concord Sunday.

Local schools win literacy grants

Franklin Elementary School in Keene and Hinsdale Elementary School have been selected as recipients of the Year of the Book literacy grant from the Children’s Literacy Foundation. The $25,000 grants were awarded to 10 schools in Vermont and New Hampshire for programs during the 2019-20 school year.

The grants will fund a range of initiatives, such as visits from authors from New Hampshire and Vermont, family literacy events, new books for the classroom and 10 books of each child’s choosing. The goal is to promote a “culture of literacy” and provide high-quality reading materials for all children, especially children living in rural or low-income areas.

Meg McIntyre can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1404, or mmcintyre@keenesentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MMcIntyreKS.