VFW honors two Wilton educators

WILTON – Two Wilton teachers have been named state winners in the Veteran of Foreign Wars National Citizenship Education Teacher Program. Both will attend the national convention in July to compete for national honors against the other state winners.

National winners receive a $1,000 donation to their professional development account and a $1,000 grant to their school. The VFW recognizes more than a thousand teachers nationwide.

Both teachers were selected from entries submitted to VFW Posts across New Hampshire. They were sponsored by Post 8641 in Merrimack and its


Claudette Barker is the music education teacher at Florence Rideout Elementary School, and Marc Belanger teaches social studies at the Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative Middle/High School.

In her first year at the school, Barker led her students in a community recognition of veterans on Veterans’ Day.

Belanger is in his third year at the school. His course offerings include U.S. government, economics, genocide and Holocaust studies, American Military History, and philosophy. His students regularly attend town and school meetings.

The VFW Teacher of the Year Award program was started in 1999 as a way to identify and honor America’s best educators who instill a sense of national pride by teaching citizenship, and promoting America’s history and traditions. The program continues to grow and administrators expect participation to increase.

The VFW was founded in 1899 and chartered by Congress in 1936. It is comprised entirely of eligible veterans and military service members from active duty, National Guard and reserve forces. There are nearly 6,400 posts worldwide with almost 1.7 million members. The VFW is dedicated to veterans’ service, legislative advocacy, military and community service programs.

For more information, or to join, visit www.vfw.org.

Local contact is Mary-Jane Ryan, State President, Department of N.H. VFW Auxiliary, mjvfwaux