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Stoughton Teacher, Volunteer Awarded for Community Efforts

John Gunning and Kathryn Billo received awards at a banquet on Tuesday.

Kathryn Billo (left) and John Gunning (right). Credit: Courtesy
Kathryn Billo (left) and John Gunning (right). Credit: Courtesy

Two members of the Stoughton Public School community were recognized at the Norfolk County Teachers Association awards banquet on Tuesday, June 3 at Lombardo's in Randolph. 

John Gunning, a teacher in Stoughton, and Kathryn Billo, a volunteer, were both recognized by the NCTA, which issued awards in four categories: service awards, honor awards, the Future Educator Award and the NCTA Teacher Scholarship. 

Gunning a seventh grade social studies teacher at O'Donnell Middle School in Stoughton received the "Honor Award for 2014," given in recognition of his commitment to educational service, community service and association service. 

"John Gunning has been teaching social studies in Stoughton at the middle school for 22 years," wrote fellow middle school social studies teacher Rachel Killion, who nominated Gunning. "John has a love of learning that is obvious to all that meet him. Whether it is supporting the rights of fellow teachers through his union work, debating a recent news story, sharing his vast knowledge of geography and history with student, or attending a concert; his passion spills over into all he does. He is frequently one of the first people in the building in the morning and one of the last in the evening."

Billo, a Stoughton resident and volunteer at the Hansen School, was also recognized, and received the Community Service Award for her demonstrated service to public education. 

"Kathryn Billo has been an essential member of my kindergarten staff for the past six years," wrote Kindergarten Teacher Darlene Manchester, according to officials. "Her dedication to volunteerism is inspiring especially in light of budget cuts and curriculum demands. She understands the challenges that educators face, and appreciated the uniqueness of each child's potential. Her reliability, intuitive thinking and positive attitude help build self-esteem among students; and allow for enriching lesson activities. Excitement upon her arrival is tangible, and she endearingly refers to Kindergarteners as 'rock stars.'"

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