SKOWHEGAN (AP) — A Skowhegan Middle School educator is the 2017 Maine Teacher of the year.

Reading intervention teacher Tammy Ranger was surprised with the award at a special assembly Thursday attended by her husband, three adult children, mother and mother-in-law, along with students and teachers.

The 53-year-old teacher thanked her colleagues and said, “We teach because we love our students and because we love learning.”

Ranger is a yoga instructor for the elderly and for workers at New Balance Athletic Shoe Co. and sits on the board of the Waterville Public Library. She’s also a volunteer at a program that serves meals to the needy in Waterville.

She began her teaching career in 1999 teaching sixth-grade reading and social studies.

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