Danielle Boutin '08 '09G, an ELL teacher at Nashua’s Ledge Street School, has been named the 2021 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year. The New Hampshire Department of Education honored this year’s finalists at a ceremony on the State House lawn in Concord.
Boutin is an 11-year veteran English language learner (ELL) teacher. She works with multilingual students in kindergarten through fifth grade at Ledge Street Elementary School in Nashua. Boutin’s curiosity and love of language and culture makes working with multicultural students the best job for her, she says. She describes her students as creative and open-minded and appreciates her students’ eagerness to learn.
Boutin grew up in New Hampshire, receiving her Bachelor of Arts in English and humanities (dual major) and Master’s in education in secondary English and English speakers of other languages (ESOL) certification from the University of New Hampshire.
Boutin describes her job as looking a little different each day and she loves not knowing exactly what to expect. When working with students of various cultures and linguistic backgrounds, each day is filled with teachable moments, she says. In addition to teaching, connecting and advocating for families is a large part of Boutin’s love for her job. Over the past decade, she has worked to build a strong community support network which she can lean on to help her families with a variety of issues including food and housing insecurity, domestic violence and trauma.
Boutin also works hard to collaborate and advocate for the needs of her students at the school, district and state level. Boutin has been an active member of numerous state ELL advisory committees and often works to help bring attention to the needs of her students and her families.
“This has been one heck of a year in education. Teachers around the country are doing their best to learn a new environment and it has been very challenging,” said Boutin. “All of the parents out there are also Teachers of the Year as they teach their kids from home. It takes a lot of people to help students succeed.”
“Ms. Boutin’s exceptional contributions to her students and community were unparalleled. While all the candidates are doing extraordinary work in New Hampshire, Ms. Boutin’s comprehensive approach to connecting students, teachers and the community are what will make the difference for many future generations,” says Claudia Tobon, vice president of Geskus Studios and Yearbook Publishing and sponsor of the NH Teacher of the Year Program.
“Danielle exemplifies the outstanding commitment of New Hampshire teachers to not only high academic expectations, but recognizing the humanity of all students and their families. She’s leading the way on removing barriers and ensuring all students receive the education they deserve,” says Kimberly Piper, 2020 NH Teacher of the Year.
The purpose of the NH Teacher of the Year Program is to select a teacher who is capable of speaking for and energizing the teaching profession, and representing the positive contributions of all teachers statewide. Boutin will represent New Hampshire in the National Teacher of the Year Program.