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NHL’s Teacher of the Year Mrs. Joan Kilban

Mrs. Joan Kilban, NHL’s Future Goals Most Valuable Teacher of the Year for 2020, also Plymouth River Elementary Fifth Grade teacher, was honored last week during the NHL All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas. Due to Covid, many of these special events were put on hold until this year. Along with the recognition in 2020, Mrs. Kilban was awarded $30,000 from SAP, the NHL’s statistical software partner, to use within the district. 

Mrs. Kilban presented on a panel of five during the “Future Goals Kids Day” and spoke alongside people like Dan Fleetwood, the Vice President of Global Sponsorship for SAP, and Andrew Ference, former Bruins defenseman, and now Director of Social Impact, Growth & Fan Development. The panelists went on to speak to five-hundred students about how STEM, (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) play an integral role in sports. Mrs. Kilban went on to connect with the students and share insight that only a true “Teacher of the Year” could: 

“We’d all like to be one of the roster players on the Golden Knights or my hometown team, the Boston Bruins, but that isn’t realistic for everybody. Just to know that there are thousands of people behind the scenes who play an incredibly important role in putting that team on the ice night after night at their peak performance is so exciting.”

Connecting with students and getting them energized into their studies is exactly why the leadership at Plymouth River also believe Mrs. Kilban was meant for this selection:

“Joan is one of those teachers that students will remember long after their elementary career.  Her charisma and love of hockey combined with using that love to get students excited about learning is truly a gift she has.  This helps her build connections with the students on different levels and why she deserved The NHL Most Valuable Teacher of the Year Award.” – Principal Greg Lamothe and Assistant Principal Melissa Smith of Plymouth River Elementary

Mrs. Kilban also met with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and was honored at the NHL All-Stars Game on Saturday.