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Martha Burr Named Farmington's Teacher of the Year

Martha Burr, Farmington High School's library specialist and the 2012-13 teacher of the year, stands with her sons, Caleb (left) and Josh (right). The boys both came with her to the school board meeting Sept. 9 when she was recognized for her work.
Martha Burr, Farmington High School's library specialist and the 2012-13 teacher of the year, stands with her sons, Caleb (left) and Josh (right). The boys both came with her to the school board meeting Sept. 9 when she was recognized for her work.
The Board of Education recognized Martha Burr Monday as Farmington's 2012-13 teacher of the year.

To Burr, the award doesn't just reflect her own service but rather honors the work of many.

"All the work that I do is collaborative so it's a really nice thing and I appreciate it, but I really think it's the reflection of the work of a lot of people," Burr said.

District officials informed the Farmington High School librarian in June, but it was publicly announced on the first day of school in August.

“Farmington has been a great experience for me," Burr said at the Board of Education meeting.

Burr has been with Farmington Public Schools for 15 years. In that time, she said that she has had the opportunity to make mistakes and fail so that she could learn from them and grow, an experience she said is also important for students.

"I think that’s a special thing to have that opportunity to grow," she said.

Burr was hired as an English teacher at the high school in 1997 and she became library media specialist in 2002. The move gave Burr a broader capability to educate on a school-wide level and work with teachers of different subjects.

Farmington Superintendent Kathy Grieder said that Burr is the "ideal representative Farmington Public Schools," adding that she is “instrumental in Farmington’s Capstone program and the expansion of the program.” 

For Capstone, juniors and seniors choose one of 10 courses in various subject areas and do a project. In the past, students have done projects such as developing iPhone applications, developing anti-bullying curriculum, doing art therapy at assisted living homes and conducting peer research, Burr said.

"As much as possible, we want this to be a bridge to the world outside," Burr said.

She also assists with an educational internship program that give students the opportunity to assist classrooms in the district.

Burr was also a finalist for the Connecticut Association of Schools Exemplary Educator award for 2013.

She is a Tufts graduate with a bachelor's degree in English and psychology. She earned a master of arts and liberal studies degree and a concentration in literature at Wesleyan.

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