Gregory Ahlquist, a high school social studies teacher at Webster Thomas High School in Webster, Monroe County, was named today as the 2013 New York State Teacher of the Year, the state Education Department announced.
Ahlquist is the 43rd state Teacher of the Year. He has been teaching at the suburban Rochester school for 12 years. He teaches AP World History and AP European History and is an adjunct lecturer at SUNY Geneseo teaching Humanities, as well as history and Latin courses.
“Teachers like Gregory Ahlquist give selflessly to their students and communities everyday,” Education Commissioner John King said in a statement. “Great teachers help make great students, and Gregory Ahlquist is one of those great teachers.”
In a news release, the education department said Ahlquist “works with his students to create an intellectual and creative space for them to understand not only history, but also how those patterns and trends shape today’s world and events.”
Ahlquist works with students to hold annual community events to help the hungry and raise money to fight leukemia.
Finalists for the award were Neil Lange, a teacher at Bennett High School in Buffalo; Stephanie Muson, an 8th grade Social Studies teacher at Briarcliff Middle School in Briarcliff Manor, Westchester County; Grace Barrett, an art teacher of grades 6 through 8 at Commack Middle School in Commack; and Julene Waffle, an English teacher at Morris Central School in Morris, Otsego County.