COLCHESTER, Conn. (WTNH) — For Bacon Academy teacher Peter Arseneault, today started out like any other day, but by mid-morning, he had a $25,000 check in his hand, an honor of a lifetime.
Arseneault is the only Connecticut recipient of the prestigious Milken Educator Award for 2015.
“You are known for being a really, really hard worker. What could you tell us about the value of the hard work and why do you think people would think that about you?” asked a Milken Family Foundation spokeswoman.
“Honestly, I don’t work harder than anyone else here. It’s an honor to be up here. Bacon is a very special place,” said Arseneault.
Students and staff, joined by Milken officials, Connecticut Commissioner of Education Dianna Wentzell, and Colchester Superintendent Jeffry Mathieu, gathered for a pep rally. Arseneault was surprised to learn the rally was in his honor, but those in attendance said it was well deserved.
“Mr. A. is probably the hardest working teacher I’ve ever had,” said senior Zachary Hill.
Arseneault has been teaching for less than a decade. A 2007 graduate of Central Connecticut State University, he’s quickly earned the respect of everyone at Bacon Academy.
“I love what I do. I love the students I work with. That’s what I enjoy doing the most,” said Arseneault.
The State Department of Education selects a pool of candidates to be considered for the Milken Educator Award each year. Winners are chose by the Milken Family Foundation based on what they’ve accomplished so far and how much potential they show for the future.
“We teach in a very unique field, it’s interesting. It’s career oriented and we have a really great time,” said Arseneault.
During his time at Bacon, Arseneault has developed two new classes for the school, Science and Alternative Energy and Technology Repair. He’s helped raise assessment scores and says he does it all for the students.
At today’s award ceremony, it was all about him.
“It’s an honor. I was very shocked, very surprised by this award, but I’m honored,” said Arseneault.