2022  Educator of the Year - Courtney Lovett
Cashman Elementary School
The Amesbury Rotary Club is committed to serving the youth of our community. We sponsor scholarships and offer interest-free loans to Amesbury students. We also honor one of the many outstanding educators in our school system each year. This award recognizes professional excellence and the performance of outstanding service in the Amesbury School System.
Eligibility requirements as follows:
• Must teach in the Amesbury School System - this includes all classroom/special education teachers and specialists in technology, art, music, library, guidance counselors, etc. Administrators are not eligible.
• Must have been employed in the Amesbury School System for at least five years.
• Must not plan on retiring within the next two years.
• Must not be a previous recipient.
Nominations are encouraged from past and present students, parents, co-workers, .and all community members.

Amesbury Rotary Club names Courtney Lovett Educator of the Year

Carol Feingold, Correspondent

Cashman Elementary School (CES) teacher Courtney Lovett recently received the 2022 Amesbury Rotary Club (ARC) Educator of the Year Award for professional excellence.

 “She’s been nominated several times over the past 10-plus years,” said Donna Collins, who heads the ARC nominating committee, and it’s easy to see why.

Cashman Elementary School teacher Courtney Lovett has been named the Amesbury Rotary Club's Educator of the year.

She goes into school day in and day out with the mission to help improve her students,” one person said, “not just intellectually, but also socially and emotionally.” 

A lifelong resident of Amesbury, Lovett graduated Amesbury High School in 2000. She attended Lasell College in Newton, MA, where she studied Elementary Education and Humanities, and earned two Master’s Degrees from Salem State University in Elementary Education Grades 1-6 and Reading Instruction Grades k-12.

Her first teaching job was at Cashman School under then Principal Peter Hoyt and she’s been there ever since. “Peter Hoyt hired me to teach fourth grade at Cashman in 2005,” Lovett said. “He gave a very shy, green, kid from Amesbury a chance, and I will be forever grateful to him. He gave me a chance and I think it’s all worked out.

I taught fourth grade for six or seven years straight and then I started looping teaching third and fourth grade for eight years. These last couple of years I’ve been in third grade.” It’s an age level Lovett loves to teach. “They’re young enough to have a very pure child enthusiasm,” she said, “but they’ve had enough schooling to know the ropes, so to speak.”

Even people who “knew the ropes” were shook up by the pandemic – children, teachers, administrators, and families.I was just in a terrible state of anxiety,” Lovett said. “In 2012, I married Matt Lovett, the love of my life and my best friend. He is an excellent teacher and football coach at Pentucket Regional School. I would not have made it teaching through the pandemic without him. Matt is so calm and levelheaded. He taught me everything I know about how to teach remotely. He believes in me when I don’t believe in myself. His support gives me the strength and faith to continue when times are tough (like the pandemic). I’m grateful to him.” Anxious or not Lovett certainly rose to the occasion, according to one person who nominated her.

During remote learning “Courtney was in continuous contact with her students’ parents, and even delivered materials, participated in parades and on-line well-wishes across the district.” “I was just trying to do the best I could,” Lovett said. “I think everyone did the best they could under the circumstances. It was quite a trying time.”

Doing the best she can comes naturally to Lovett. Over the years she has received 17 A+ Awards from the Amesbury Educational Foundation, and in 2011, she received an Amesbury Excellence in Education Award. She goes above and beyond. “She has helped to organize food drives,” one person who nominated her said, “and volunteer work for charities and organizations within Amesbury.” Lovett helped run the Cashman Student Council for seven years.

We ran positive incentive programs like Shining Stars to encourage our students to do their best,” she said. “We ran food drives, toiletry drives, Veterans Day assemblies, MLK Jr. assemblies, Cashman Jr. Relay for Life, Patriot’s Super Bowl celebrations, Cashman spirit wear fundraisers, Spirit Week Theme Days, schoolwide math and geography challenges, morning announcements over the intercom, and many other assemblies with a music appreciation focus.

I’m very proud of that work. Demonstrating to young students that giving back to one’s community feels good, because it is good. My principal at the time Dr. Lou Charette was amazingly supportive of these events. Her support allowed me to grow as a teacher. I’m very grateful to her.

I have been very fortunate to have wonderful friends and co-workers. Presently, I’ve been teaching third grade with Elizabeth Peterson, Dee Vachon, Taylor Brown, and Meg Gilleo. I’ve learned a lot from this experience. I’ve also had the pleasure of working with Chris Leary, Ashley LaValley, Priscilla Terry, Julie O’Neill, Leslie Barnaby, and Kelly Caruso. They have taught me so much over the years and have been incredibly supportive of me throughout the years. Their professionalism and friendship mean the world to me.”

Cashman Elementary School teacher Courtney Lovett has been named the Amesbury Rotary Club's Educator of the Year.

As the school year nears its end, Lovett is ready to shift gears to creating miniature Fairy Gardens. “My mother (Linda Connell) and my aunt (Chris Martin) are incredible Fairy Garden makers and I caught the bug,” Lovett said. “Last year the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce had a Fairy Garden Competition and I won it. This year I have to defend my title. I have my application all filled out. I already have a plan and have gathered the materials.”

Her 2021 winning garden had an Amesbury theme with a Colonial building, Lowell’s Boat Shop with a boat, an Amesbury carriage, a boy fairy from John Greenleaf Whittier’s poem “The Barefoot Boy,” and an homage to the Amesbury Maples Hockey team. “My grandfather Everett Picard was an Amesbury Maple,” Lovett said.

The Amesbury Chamber of Commerce Fairy Garden Competition will take place on July 9 and 10 in downtown Amesbury. It’s a really nice event,” Lovett said. “A lot of families are out and about.” Be sure to check out Lovett’s 2022 entry while you’re there.

40 years and counting

This is the 40th year that the Amesbury Rotary Club has given an Educator of the Year award,” said Donna Collins, who heads the nominating committee, “which recognizes professional excellence." The Amesbury Rotary Club takes nominations from students, parents, co-workers, anyone in the community, Collins said. “We get all these letters and I screen them. The teachers have to have taught in Amesbury for at least five years and not plan to retire within the next two years.”

After Collins sifts through the nomination letters and verifies eligibility with the school department, the committee, which includes three or four Rotarians and four past winners, reviews all eligible nominations. Rotarians make the final decision,” she said, “but the input from the teachers is very valuable to us in making that decision.”

ROTARY EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR 2022 40th Annual Award Previous Recipients:
Barbara Leary 1983
Barbara Foster 1984
Peter Hoyt 1985
Patricia Hoyt 1986
Rose Marie Bailey 1987
Linda Young 1988
Nina Tassinari 1989
Maria Ferrandini 1990
Glenn Peterson 1991
Geraldine Minihan 1992
Marcia Stellmach 1993
Bill Claffey 1994
John Swistak 1995
Marlene Schroeder 1996
Kathy Scholtz 1997
Peggy Laufer 1998
Albert MacDonald, Jr. 1999
Christopher Perry 2000
Jim Cassidy 2001
Billie McLane 2002
Steven O’Connor 2003
Tom Horan 2004
Karen Iworsky 2005
Suzanne Morin 2006
John Lyman 2007
Patty Bradley 2008
Bruce McBrien 2009
Maureen Hardin 2010
Anita Marsh 2011
Gale Regis 2012
Liz Morris 2013
Mark Casto 2014
Bethany Noseworthy 2015
Maryanne Dower 2016
Leslie Barnaby 2017
Jessica Regis 2018
Dr. Kristen Walsh 2019
Marianne Curry 2020
Stacey Fijalkowski 2021
Courtney Lovett, 2022