CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire’s teacher of the year is one of four finalists for the country’s top teacher of the year.
Heidi Welch, a music teacher at Hillsboro-Deering High School, will learn in April whether she has been selected for the 2013 national honor.
The other finalists are from Maryland, Washington and Florida.
Welch and the other finalists were chosen on the basis of eight essays they had to write and letters of endorsement. Each will be interviewed individually by the National Selection Committee.
Gov. Maggie Hasssan said Thursday that, no matter what the outcome, Welch has made New Hampshire proud.
‘‘Heidi clearly understands that a highly-engaging curriculum can enhance the educational process and help New Hampshire’s students learn more effectively,’’ Hassan said.
Welch’s selection as state teacher of the year was based on her passion for education and her ability to connect with students, state officials said.
She has been a teacher for 16 years, the last 14 at Hillsboro-Deering High School. The New Hampshire native said that education led her out of a life of poverty and into one of opportunity.
‘‘I am definitely not the best teacher in New Hampshire and most definitely not in the United States,’’ Welch said. ‘‘I see greatness in classrooms every day that goes overlooked.’’
Welch has her music students read American history and plays to which they are performing the scores to put the music in context and cultivate literacy.
‘‘Reading is fundamental but literacy means so much more,’’ she said.
She said she is deeply honored to represent New Hampshire and would give it her best as a national finalist.
The national teacher of the year travels nationally and internationally to advocate for the teaching profession and collaborates with education policy makers.