- Associated Press - Friday, October 9, 2020

WINDSOR, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut’s newly announced Teacher of the Year and Paraeducator of the Year for 2021 are from the same elementary school in Windsor, the first time in state history the two honorees have been from the same district and school.

Rochelle Brown, a kindergarten teacher at the Poquonock School, was named Teacher of the Year on Friday, while Maria Sau was named the Anne Marie Murphy Paraeducator of the Year, named after an educator killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Gov. Ned Lamont and state Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona announced the awards during a surprise visit to the school.

“Windsor is incredibly proud of this first-ever accomplishment,” Windsor Superintendent Craig Cooke said in a statement. “Ms. Brown and Ms. Sau are two of the most talented, passionate and committed educators I have ever worked with.”

Brown, who is now in the running for the 2021 National Teacher of the Year, has been an educator in Windsor schools since 1999. Sau has also worked with Windsor students for more than 20 years.

“We help them to realize the greatness and potential in themselves,” Brown said about the children. “This is our gift. I say to my fellow educators, keep sharing that gift.”

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