MILAN — Sandy Fitzmorris, technology teacher at the Milan Village School, was selected as the winner of the 2021 Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) award by the New Hampshire Society of Professional Engineers.
The society, made up of engineering firms from all over the state, annually presents the award to a teacher in the STEM field.
Representing the society, Robert Rotier presented the award to Fitzmorris at a surprise meeting at the Milan Village school Tuesday, April 13.
“I am so pleased that someone from the North Country was nominated for this award,” said Rotier, a retired engineering teacher. “The society is always looking for veteran teachers who demonstrate continuous learning and have the ability to inspire students and to engage students in early learning in engineering and technology.”
“When I went to school, we got no exposure to engineering. Then one day someone taps you on the shoulder and says you should be an engineer,” Rotier said. "It is so important to expose students to learning engineering, science and math at an early age and the other things we look for is leadership, and Ms. Fitzmorris’ involvement with the after-school STEM program with the White Mountain Science initiative was particularly outstanding.”
Rotier presented Fitzmorris with a plaque recognizing her as the 2021 New Hampshire STEM teacher of the year for excellence in teaching.
“The award also comes with a stipend check of $250 but like most teachers I am sure you will put it right back in the classroom, so I am asking you to promise to spend this check on yourself,” Rotier added.
“I don’t know what to say. I love what I do. It is not a chore coming here to work with the kids and everyone here at the Milan school. It’s all problem-solving language skills and life skills — you hope the kids can take what they learn in the elementary school and apply in high school college and life. It is nice to be able to work with a group of adults that really care about the students and I am also thankful for an administration that supports us. This is a community for sure,” said Fitzmorris.
School Administrative Unit 20 Superintendent David Backler said, “Sandy is a great representative of the North Country. She is truly the heart of STEM education and this award is well deserved.”
A resident of Milan, Fitzmorris is married to Gerald Fitzmorris. She is the mother of two children and stepmother to four more.
Fitzmorris works with the school cross-country ski program for grades one through six, the Lego League of the North Country, is the sixth-grade yearbook advisor, and coordinates the After School STEM program with the White Mountain Science initiative.
When asked what she would do with the check, Fitzmorris said she had no idea, paused, and then said, “Maybe I’ll take my family out to dinner.”