Newfound Regional High School faculty member John Lellos was recently named New Hampshire's 2020 Social Studies Teacher of the Year. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
February 27, 2019BRISTOL – Principal Paul Hoiiris of Newfound Regional High School said that one of the best parts of his job is celebrating the accomplishments of not only his students, but his faculty and staff, and he was pleased to announce last week that teacher John Lellos has been named the state's 2020 Social Studies Teacher of the Year.
"We at Newfound are truly lucky to have a teacher that engages and inspires others. Fortunately, the State of New Hampshire's Council for Social Studies agrees with us," he said in his announcement.
Lellos, an alumni of NRHS, has taught at the school for the past five years, serving as his department's chair for four of those years. His leadership has brought a number of electives and rigorous opportunities to the students, Hoiiris said, that engage them in the subject. Through his role at the school, Lellos has worked with community partners such as Tapply-Thompson Community Center, the New Hampshire Bar Association and the VFW, and facilitated school-wide events like Constitution Day and Voice of Democracy.
Besides teaching in the classroom, Lellos also mentors students through Bridge Academy, a summer program to introduce incoming freshmen to the school, and Fit Club. On a broader spectrum, he is actively involved in his professional social studies association and is helping to rewrite the standards of the subject on a state level.
Lellos has made presentations at professional development conferences and is currently working with Gov. Chris Sununu and Commissioner of Education Frank Edelblut on a state-wide economics challenge for New Hampshire high school students.
"Most importantly is Mr. Lellos' connection with students and staff at Newfound," said Hoiiris.
Amy Yeakel, Extended Learning Opportunities coordinator at NRHS, had praise for her co-worker as well.
She said, "Mr. Lellos arrives game ready, ready to work, be busy, innovative, pitch in and cover a gap."
And while Lellos' curriculum is rigorous, students consistently rise to the challenge, are engaged and successful, stated fellow social studies instructor Daniel Champagne.
Former student Emma Howe weighed in by saying, "I have never had a teacher that has transformed my experience in the classroom as Mr. Lellos," while current student Deanna Martin wrote that Lellos did more than help her find the desire to learn. He has also taught her the value in learning and has inspired her to pursue a future in Economics.