SANFORD (AP) – A Sanford High School history teacher was named Maine’s Teacher of the Year on Tuesday.

In keeping with tradition, Education Commissioner Susan Gendron surprised Martin McKeon with the honor in front of a school assembly. Gendron praised him for his “excellence as a teacher and for being an outstanding role model.”

“It is truly an honor for all of us to be in the presence of, and recognize the gifts of such a talented educator, who exemplifies many of the finest qualities in this, the noblest of all professions – teaching,” she said.

McKeon, a 1975 graduate of Sanford High, returned to his hometown 23 years ago to teach social studies to freshman students.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Nasson College, which is now closed, and a master’s degree in teaching from Brown University.

McKeon will go on to compete in the selection of National Teacher of the Year, which will be announced next April at the White House.

AP-ES-09-11-07 1313EDT

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