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Contact: Richard Vespucci
For Release: April 4, 2001

State Board of Education Honors 14 Teachers for Achieving National Certification

The State Board of Education today honored 14 teachers who have successfully completed requirements for national teaching certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Commissioner of Education Vito A. Gagliardi, Sr. presented the 14 teachers to the board for recognition and commendation.

"These special teachers have met the rigorous standards set by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards," said Dr. Gagliardi. "I applaud them for their commitment to the highest standards of teaching. When teachers work hard to enhance their skills, our students benefit."

The Commissioner commended the teachers and the leaders of New Jersey’s three candidate support site centers for assisting teachers in preparing for national certification. Leading the support centers are Willa Spicer, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for South Brunswick Public Schools; Wayne Turner, director of staff development for Newark Public Schools; and Judith Wilson, superintendent of Woodbury Public Schools.

D. Gagliardi also recognized State Farm Insurance Company for helping to fund the three regional support sites. State Farm also financed the professional development of three national certification candidates and one facilitator who assisted the candidates.

The 14 New Jersey teaches honored in their areas of national certification are:

  • Sara Sally Chernoff, early adolescence and science, Millburn Township Public Schools
  • Marie Donnantuono, middle childhood generalist, Tenafly Public Schools
  • Linda Flynn, middle childhood generalist, Hackensack Public Schools
  • David Jackson, middle childhood generalist, Upper Township Public Schools
  • Donna T. Kortvelesy, early adolescence, English language arts, Millville Public Schools
  • Catherine E. Ladner, early adolescence through young adulthood / English as a new language, East Windsor Regional Schools
  • Lisa LaRoche, early adolescence through young adulthood, exceptional needs specialist, South Brunswick Public Schools
  • Christine Marucchi, early childhood generalist, New Providence Public Schools
  • Michelle M. Meade, early and middle childhood/English as a new language, Hoboken Charter School
  • Harlene Michaels, early childhood generalist, South Brunswick Public Schools
  • Helen Perzan, early and middle childhood/English as a new language, New Brunswick Public Schools
  • Carol A. Piza, early adolescence/English language arts, South Brunswick Public Schools
  • Susan B. Prendergast, middle childhood generalist, Tenafly Public Schools
  • Paige C. Rimmer, early adolescence/English language arts, South Brunswick Public Schools

Ellen Schechter, assistant commissioner for the Department of Education’s Division of Academic and Career Standards, described the rigor of the national certification process, which includes additional hours of study, development of a comprehensive portfolio, and documentation of community involvement and professional growth.

New Jersey now has 38 teachers who have achieved national board certification. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards was created as a nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit organization. Its mission is to establish high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do, develop and operate a national voluntary system to assess and certify teachers who meet these standards, and advance related education reforms for the purpose of improving student learning.