North Farmington High physics teacher Todd Hecker dressed a little special for school on Tuesday, because principal Joe Greene told him a group would be in to observe his class.
Greene didn't mention the visit would include an announcement that Hecker was named the Farmington Public Schools 2013 High School Teacher of the Year.
"I just two minutes ago said, after this class, I'm gonna walk down to Mr. Greene's office and punch him in the nose, because I wore a tie for nothing," Hecker joked during the presentation.
A North Farmington teacher for the past 17 years, Hecker spent 15 years advising the student senate, principal Joe Greene said. Hecker turned over the reins this year; he and his wife, Sarah, are now trying to keep up with their two children, 3-year-old Frank and 19-month-old Sally.
Supt. Sue Zurvalec read comments from parent Zachary Washington, who offered high praise for Hecker's involvement with POWER (Presenting Opportunities While Enhancing our Race), a mentorship program for African-American students designed to close the achievement gap.
"I so strongly believe in its purpose and methods that I have continued my involvement," Washington wrote. "(Todd) has consistently demonstrated his passion, self-determination, dedication, sacrifice, and commitment to making this program equal to all other exemplary programs at North."
Student Jaden Fowler in his letter of support wrote, "Mr. Hecker has taught me many great lessons from the kinesthetic of motion to the characteristics of a great leader. It is a wonderful privilege as a student to know that if you need help with anything that there is a teacher you can go to."
All of Farmington Public Schools' Teachers of the Year will be honored during the school board's April 9 meeting.
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Correction: Parent Zachary Washington's name was incorrectly reported in the original version of this article.