Haverhill High School’s Burke Wins Award for Special Education Work

Nancy Burke, right, and student Taylor Warren in the Haverhill High School garden. Photograph courtesy of Massachusetts Farm to School Project.

Nancy Burke, an education support staffer at Haverhill High School, can thank the Academy — the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences, that is — for the award she took home on Saturday night.

Burke was one of 23 nominees nationwide to receive a Bammy Award, given to outstanding members of the education community. At Haverhill High School, Burke is known as the creator of a gardening program for her students, the fruits (and vegetables) of which can be found in the school’s courtyard. Burke, an education support professional (ESP) from Haverhill High School, won the 2015 Bammy Award for Special Needs Staff, one of 23 awards in various education-related categories.

In addition to Burke’s category — special education — award winners included principals and teachers in elementary, middle and high schools, college professors, education researchers and technologists, education app creators, education bloggers and journalists.

She was in excellent company. Bill Nye the Science Guy and Sesame Street also were recognized during the digital broadcast of the Bammys.

Burke is now a member of the Academy and will be invited to vote in next year’s competition

The awards were given on Saturday by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences, a group dedicated to recognizing those who work in all areas of the education field. Also recognized were principals and teachers at the elementary, middle and high school levels, education journalists, researchers, and education technologists.

Burke helped her students plant, tend and harvest a flower and vegetable garden in the courtyard at Haverhill High School.