NORTHFIELD — The fact that Pioneer Valley Regional School science teacher Penney Betsold is this year’s winner of the Grinspoon Award for Excellence in Teaching came as no surprise to her students Tuesday afternoon.
“I could have called it,” Pioneer senior Matt Grover said, when Pioneer Principal Jean Bacon and Superintendent Ruth Miller entered Betsold’s second-floor classroom with a certificate and balloons.
Betsold, who is in her 11th year at Pioneer, said the award was “a lovely surprise,” as were her students’ congratulations and excitement for her.
“I’m really happy to be here teaching science, and lucky to have such wonderful students,” she said….
Betsold teaches ecology, biology, a combined advanced placement (AP) and non-AP environmental science class, and sometimes physics. She also oversees Pioneer’s Envirothon Team, which recently received a $1,000 grant from Project Learning Tree, a program of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. Betsold said the grant will pay for development of a raised boardwalk to the campus wetlands as well as a rain garden that will be done in the spring.