Two Local Teachers Named State Teachers of the Year

Photo Calais Teachers Greg Smith (left) and John Moody (right) have been named VFW State Teachers of the Year for High School and Middle School respectively. (Photo by Kaileigh Deacon).

By Kaileigh Deacon

Every year the Veterans of Foreign Wars seek to recognize outstanding teachers across the county for their contributions to their students and their community. Teachers are nominated and then are selected at the local, district, and state levels based on their merits. 

The VFW seeks honor teachers who have outstanding commitment to teaching their students Americanism and patriotism. There are three levels; elementary, junior high, and high which the VFW honors for their commitment to these goals. The awards start locally with a local VFW Post, then to the District Level, before going to the State level. Once each state has recognized their choices for teacher of the year, State winners will go on to the National selection where the three selected teachers will receive recognition for themselves and their school.

Two teachers from Calais have won this honor at the local, district, and state levels this year. Greg Smith a Calais High School math teacher and John Moody a Calais Middle School math teacher are the recipients of this year’s honor. Both men were selected based not only on their commitment to their school’s academics and extracurricular activities but also to their dedication to teaching citizenship while promoting civic responsibility and patriotism. 

Greg Smith has been at Calais High School for 26 years in the math department. When not in the classroom Mr. Smith helped students as a coach on the soccer and softball fields as well as on the basketball court.  Mr. Smith also spends his free time during and after school to help students who need it. “He connects with all the students really well,” Principal Mary Anne Spearin said. “He is a great champion of our students.”

John Moody has been with the Calais School System for 31 years in both the High School and for the last three years at the Middle School. In addition to teaching Mathematics Mr. Moody has served as the Advisor for the Math Team, the Senior Class Advisor, Civil Rights Team Advisor, band booster and more. “You will never meet a kinder person than Mr. Moody,” Spearin said. 

Calais High School is lucky to have two such devoted and involved as well as many others on staff helping their students. Later this year Mr. Smith and Mr. Moody will attend the awards ceremony, which takes place at the same time as the Voices of Democracy speech award ceremony.  During the ceremony the winning students will read their speeches.  

 “These are two of the best and brightest that Calais High School has to offer,” fellow teacher Lori Ellis said.