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Salem ESL teacher named Massachusetts teacher of the year

“Ms. García recognizes the strengths that English learners bring to the classroom and the importance of connecting with their families"

Marta García (middle), Massachusetts' teacher of the year, takes a picture with Governor Charlie Baker (right) and Salem's Mayor Kim Driscoll (left). David L. Ryan/Globe Staff


SALEM, Mass. (AP) — An elementary school teacher from Salem was named Massachusetts Teacher of the Year on Wednesday.

Marta García, who teaches English as a second language to second and third graders at Witchcraft Heights Elementary School, was honored during a ceremony attended by Gov. Charlie Baker and other top officials.

The award is presented annually to a teacher who exemplifies the dedication, commitment and positive contributions of educators statewide. García now becomes the state’s candidate for the National Teacher of the Year award.

“Ms. García recognizes the strengths that English learners bring to the classroom and the importance of connecting with their families,” state Education Secretary James Peyser said in a statement. “Her role, and the role of ESL teachers statewide, is a critical one as we seek to serve all students and help people from different backgrounds grow and learn together.”

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She understands the concerns her students’ families might have, and she reaches out proactively to see how they are adjusting, explains the school system, and learns about their backgrounds, officials said.

García, an educator for 23 years, has a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from the University of Valladolid in Spain and a master’s degree from Salem State University.

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