Winner on the national stage

Leah Stone, left, of Antrim enjoys a photo-op with her instructor, Sarah Grossi, after a big victory at a national competition for future educators in Dallas. Stone graduated from ConVal Regional High School last month.

PETERBOROUGH — A recent graduate of ConVal Regional High School took first place in a national competition for future educators last month.

Leah Stone of Antrim, who graduated from ConVal this year, participated in the Educators Rising conference in Dallas from June 22-25. She bested 36 students from across the country 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.

Stone qualified for the national competition after taking second place in the category at the state competition in March. Two other students from ConVal, rising seniors Tracie Dailey of Peterborough and Molly Reed of Bennington, also attended nationals to compete in the “pre-K children’s literature” category, in which they created their own children’s book.

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 Region 14 Applied Technology Center, has competed at both the state and national level, according to instructor Sarah Grossi.

Stone said she felt more confident going into the national contest after having participate in New Hampshire.

“I think it just really shows that the experiences that I had in high school really did kind of shape me as a future educator,” Stone said. “And having those experiences really put me in a great spot going into college and into my career in education.”

Following the state competition, Stone incorporated feedback from the judges and from her coursework at the career and technical education center to improve in her category going into nationals, she said.

“She prepared very hard for this competition, and I think that that really showed,” Grossi said. “She came in second in the state of New Hampshire and that she was able to come in first in the nation is pretty amazing. It shows her work ethic.”

Stone is set to attend Fitchburg State University in Fitchburg, Mass., this fall. She plans to study elementary education, she said, and hopes to establish a collegiate chapter of Educators Rising at the school.

Over the four days of the conference, attendees also had the opportunity to attend workshops and keynote presentations on different aspects of education, as well as collaborate with students from other schools, Grossi said.

Stone said she would be interested in one day judging state Educators Rising competitions, chaperoning future teams from ConVal and perhaps even presenting a workshop at a future conference.

Grossi said she was proud of the students that competed and emphasized the value of the learning opportunities at the conference.

“We really went for the experience,” she said. “This is sort of icing on cake, because the overall experience was amazing. Educators Rising, New Hampshire as well as national, is a fabulous organization. The people we met — we just can’t say enough about how every moment was just really awesome.”

Meg McIntyre can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1404, or mmcintyre@keenesentinel.com.

Follow her on Twitter at

@MMcIntyreKS.