Lyndonville honors Educator of the Year

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 September 2020 at 11:16 am

Provided photo: Jerod Thurber congratulates his wife Bliss Thurber after she was honored last week as Lyndonville’s Educator of the Year for 2019-20. She was announced last June as the district’s top educator but the recognition was delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions. Mr. Thurber in July joined the Lyndonville Board of Education.

LYNDONVILLE – The school district last week gave overdue recognition to the Educator of the Year from 2019-20, and also recognized retiring staff.

The district normally recognizes the top educator and retirees during a Board of Education meeting in June. But the district was meeting remotely back then. It has returned to in-person meetings.

Bliss Thurber, a sixth grade teacher, was honored as Educator of the Year. District officials said she is “creative, talented, dedicated and committed, all while having high expectations for her students.”

She also has been a leader in the district in utilizing technology to connect with students. Thurber also serves as co-leader of the AVID program for grades kindergarten through 6.

She received a plaque and a $1,000 district grant to be used for an educational initiative or project.

RETIREES – The district also recognized four staff members are retiring: Diane Thurber, clerical; Nikki Robison, teacher aid; Kathy Payne, a long-time bus driver; and Dave Balcer, director of Buildings and Grounds.

Balcer was known for his customer service approach to all members of our community, as well as the great pride he had for the school buildings and grounds, said Jason Smith, the district superintendent.

Robison was known for her innate problem solving ability, behind the scenes dedication, and her ability to connect with all students to instill positive and productive relationship.

Thurber held several positions in the district before her clerical assignment. She was known for her quick and out-of-the-box thinking, commitment to students, and overall wonderful efficiency, Smith said.

Payne was dedicated to students for many years as a bus driver.

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