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For Release: October 2, 2002
Hudson County Library/Media Specialist Named
2002-03 New Jersey Teacher of the Year
When Elspeth Corrigan was an eighth-grader at Bedford Junior High School in Connecticut, she was named "Best Librarian Aide" because, in her words, she was the "best book-shelver."
Decades later, she can add "best teacher" to her list. Today, Commissioner of Education William L. Librera announced Elspeth Corrigan Moore, a librarian and media specialist at Memorial High School in West New York, Hudson County, as the 2002-2003 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year.
"Elspeth Corrigan Moore is a teacher committed to helping students on a one-to-one basis," Commissioner Librera said. "This is most exemplified in the library, where she keeps her lessons fresh and her focus on never giving up. She is an asset to her school, her local community and to the people of New Jersey."
Moore, known as Mrs. Corrigan to her students, is a 30-year veteran who remembers the name of every teacher she had from elementary school through high school. She is a woman who has successfully combined her love of reading with her love of libraries to work for 27 straight years as librarian at Memorial High School.
"The Department of Education is proud to name Mrs. Moore as Teacher of the Year," Librera said, announcing the recipient of the coveted award. "Im quite certain she, as well as the other teachers nominated for this prestigious honor, will continue to serve students as best they can, with a passion for their profession as noticeable now as it was when they first set foot in a classroom."
Mrs. Moore is a teacher who administrators, fellow teachers, students and their parents have come to expect to simply always be there, and to always exhibit bright optimism and a sense of humor.
"Got a problem? Call Elspeth," said her principal, Matthew Sinisi in a letter to the Hudson County Teacher of the Year review panel in May. "The students, faculty and administration all love and admire (her). She continues to be hardworking dedicated and devoted. Elspeth (Moore) is a model teacher."
Moore grew up in Connecticut but has spent 30 years teaching at Memorial High School. She began her career teaching Home Economics. After three years, she moved to the library, where she cemented herself as the librarian and media specialist for the next three decades.
She and her husband, Bob Moore, live in Stockholm, Sussex County. While Corrigan took on her husbands name in marriage, she kept the name Mrs. Corrigan in the classroom, namely because another teacher also had the last name Moore.
Bob Moore was a longtime U.S. History teacher in Wayne. He retired last year.
Elspeth Moore holds a bachelors degree in home economics and is a 1972 graduate of College of St. Elizabeth. She earned her masters degree in library and information science from Rutgers University in 1977. She has taken additional courses in library science and education from Rutgers, City College of New York, Jersey City State University and St. Peters University.
"We are pleased to recognize this longtime teacher with deep-rooted ties to her school district and educational beliefs," said Maud Dahme, the state board of education president. "The board is committed to recognizing teachers focused on excelling in their classrooms. Elspeth Moore is a shining example of doing just that."
Her love of libraries and reading began as early as first grade. Moore said she simply wants to do for her students what her teachers did for her.
"We always went to the library, whether to get or return a book or to read," Moore said. "The library was an important part of our education."
Moores educational philosophy is twofold. First, she believes teachers are role models even if they are never asked to do it. She also believes that good teachers foster and accept students individual differences.
Such an ideal is key in the West New York school district, an Abbott special needs district with a diverse 80 percent of the high school student body is Hispanic high school population. Embracing such diversity is the most rewarding aspect of her job, she said.
"We see an amazing change in language skills in our (English as a Second Language) community," Moore said. "I see students come into the library who cant speak English. But after four years they are fluent in English and going off to college. They really want to learn."
In an essay for Teacher of the Year award consideration, Moore traced becoming an educator back to her early childhood, saying it was her "only career goal."
"I had excellent teachers and role models who encouraged young people to go into education," Moore wrote. "Like many high school students in the 1960s, making the world a better place was one of my goals. It may have been an idealistic outlook. Thirty years later, I still believe individuals can make their mark on the world and change it."
In addition to her responsibilities in the classroom, Moore is an active member of the West Milford Lions Club and is currently the chairperson of the New Jersey Lions Club International Foundation. Her chief responsibility in that capacity is coordinating World Trade Center and Lions Club disaster relief funding.
Moore was recently elected District Governor for the clubs northern New Jersey region, comprising Bergen, Hudson and Passaic counties.
As New Jersey Teacher of the Year, Moore will be asked to be an advocate and role model for the teaching profession. She will also speak on behalf of teachers statewide and she will represent New Jersey in the national Teacher of the Year competition.
"Im humbled," Moore said. "This is a great honor. Its an honor to be a librarian and get this award. Its honor to be from an Abbott school a city high school."
The National Teacher of the Year is announced in April 2003 at a special ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House.
Moore was selected by a panel of judges who represent the states educational associations. The panel reviewed the applications of the 21 county teachers of the year and selected Moore from a field of six finalists.
As part of the award, Moore was granted a half-year sabbatical sponsored by the Educational Testing Service. The Department of Education will cover all travel costs. The department will also reimburse the West New York School District for the cost of hiring substitute teachers through December. At the request of the New Jersey Educational Association, Saturn Retailers of New Jersey have unanimously agreed to provide a Saturn for Moores use.
NOTE TO EDITORS AND REPORTERS: Attached is a list of the 2002-03 County Teachers of the Year.
County Teachers of the Year
|Atlantic||Juanita Moore||Grades 1-2 Reading Rescue||South Egg Harbor Elem Sch/Galloway|
|Bergen||Betsy Panico||Grades 9, ll, 12 English||No Valley Reg HS at Old Tappan|
|Burlington||Nancy Bianco||GradesK-1 Multiple Disabilities||Howard Yocum Elem Sch/Maple Shade|
|Camden||Marlene Rubin||Grade 6 At Risk||Charles Lewis Mid Sch/Gloucester Twp|
|Cape May||Andrew Bristol||Grade 8 Social Studies||Upper Twp Middle School|
|Cumberland||Susan Jacobsen||Grades 6 & 7 Life Skills (Technology)||Lakeside Middle School/Millville|
|Essex||Sharon Cardoso||Grades K-8 Lead Science Teacher||Ann Street School/Newark|
|Gloucester||Amy Lignelli||Grade 7 Science||Gateway Regional High School|
|Hudson||Elspeth Moore||Grades 9-12 Library Media Specialist||Memorial High School/West New York|
|Hunterdon||Kenneth Kuhn||Grades 9-12 German||Hunterdon Central Reg High School|
|Mercer||Georgianna Aiken||Grades 9-12 Family & Consumer Science||Lawrence High School|
|Middlesex||Christine Dawson||Grades 10-12 English||Highland Park High School|
|Monmouth||Joseph Lyttle||Grades 6-8 Vocal Music||Clifton Barkalow Mid Sch/Freehold Twp|
|Morris||Annette Czeterko||Grade 5 All Subjects||Sandshore School/Mt. Olive Twp|
|Ocean||Karen Lederle-Foglia||Grades 9-12 Special Education||Southern Regional High School|
|Passaic||Patricia Temprano||Grade 3 All Subjects||Thomas Jefferson Sch/Hawthorne|
|Salem||Marilyn Mortimer||Grade 12 English||Woodstown HS/Woodstown-Pilesgrove|
|Somerset||Catherine Ambos||Grade 7 Life Science||Somerville Middle School|
|Sussex||Kevin Fenlon||Grades 9-12 Resource Center Support||High Point Regional High School|
|Union||Paul Maloney||Grade 8 American History||Hillside Avenue School/Cranford|
|Warren||Karen Barbato||Grades 9-12 Special Education||Warren Co Special Services School District|