Mahar teacher Angela Cote honored for ‘making learning fun

  • Angela Cote, a technology and engineering teacher at Ralph C. Mahar Regional School, is flanked by Principal Scott Hemlin and Superintendent Tari Thomas while holding a flower bouquet. Cote is a winner of a 2020 Excellence in Teaching Award.  CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 3/11/2020 6:52:17 PM
Modified: 3/11/2020 6:52:06 PM

ORANGE — Ralph C. Mahar Regional School teacher Angela Cote has been named a 2020 Excellence in Teaching Award winner.

Cote, 54, has been teaching at Mahar for seven years this time around, having taught physics for four years during a previous stint. She is now a technology and engineering teacher.

“Ms. Cote is well respected among her colleagues and students, and brings innovation to the forefront of students’ education. One of Ms. Cote’s students recently described her as ‘making learning fun and understandable,’” the school said in a statement. “We are proud to have Ms. Cote as a member of our faculty.”

Cote said she found out she won the award when Superintendent Tari Thomas and Mahar Principal Scott Hemlin let themselves into her classroom at 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 28 with a flower bouquet.

“I had no idea,” the Vermont native said. “I’m humbled and honored by this. I didn’t even know that I had colleagues that knew what I was doing well enough to even nominate me.”

Prior to teaching, Cote said, she was an engineer in Seattle for 10 years.

She and other winners — one winner is selected for up to 1,000 students in a school district — will be honored at a banquet at The Log Cabin in Holyoke on April 30. The program is expected to feature the presentation of individual awards, and winners will receive an engraved plaque and a $500 check. All 2020 winners are encouraged to apply for the selective $250 Classroom Innovator Prize by submitting a project-based learning idea.

The Excellence in Teaching Awards program is made possible by the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation, in partnership with the Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation.

Reach Domenic Poli at: or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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