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For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Kathryn Forsyth, Director
    Ron Rice

For Release: May 3, 2004

Department of Education Honors 2004 Distinguished Teacher Candidates

Continuing the department’s efforts to recognize teachers for outstanding achievement, Commissioner of Education William L. Librera today honored 15 outstanding candidates from New Jersey’s college teacher preparation programs with the 2004 Commissioner’s Distinguished Teacher Candidate Award.

"We honor these 15 candidates because of their exhibited excellence in their student training," Commissioner Librera said. "The commitment these candidates have shown in their studies bodes well for their ability to effectively teach in our state’s schools. We celebrate their success and reiterate the department’s commitment to providing better teaching as advocated by Governor McGreevey’s 21 Point Plan for Education in New Jersey."

The Distinguished Teacher Candidate Awards program, now in its 19th year, identifies and honors the top graduates of approved college teacher education programs in New Jersey. Since 1985, the presidents of New Jersey colleges and universities have nominated their five most outstanding prospective teachers for the awards.

Commissioner Librera, State Board of Education President Arnold G. Hyndman, and other DOE officials honored the candidates during an awards ceremony at the state DOE building this morning in Trenton.

The 15 recognized students (including their area of licensure) were:

  • April Bocchino, Richard Stockton College, Elementary Education;

  • Victoria Burrowes, Monmouth University, Elementary Education;

  • Tara Dempsey, Felician College, Elementary Education;

  • Heather Frank, Montclair State University, Elementary Education;

  • Lisa Greenwald, Rutgers University, English;

  • Joanna Kotsis, Monmouth University, Elementary Education;

  • Nancy Lorenzini, Montclair State University, Elementary Education;

  • Antonio Matheus, Caldwell College, Mathematics;

  • Aliki Nicolaides, Rutgers University, English;

  • Jacqueline Pomers, Saint Peter’s College, Mathematics;

  • April Rock, Princeton University, Elementary Education;

  • Susan Rusnak, Saint Peter’s College, Elementary Education;

  • Teena Spinelli, Richard Stockton College, Visual Arts;

  • Jennifer Stalb, Felician College, Elementary Education; and

  • Ivy Yiu, Centenary College, Elementary Education

Commissioner Librera also thanked the eight member panel who selected the award recipients. The members of the panel were:

  • Dr. George Corwell, Associate Director for Education at the New Jersey Catholic Conference;

  • Peter Fedorchak, Supervisor, Dumont High School in Dumont, NJ;

  • Carol Friedrich, elementary school teacher at Dorothy L. Bullock School in Glassboro, NJ;

  • Suzane Krewson, elementary school teacher at Holland Township Elementary School in Milford, NJ;

  • Dr. Mary Orr, Principal, Lincoln Middle School in Wyckoff, NJ;

  • Dr. Joseph Pompeo, Principal, Wallington Jr/Sr High School in Wallington, NJ;

  • Mary Ellen Procaccini, Diocesan Alliance Director, NJ Alliance of Catholic School Families; and

  • Dr. Louis Ripatrazone, Superintendent, Roxbury Township Public Schools

For more information, please contact the Department of Education Public Information Office at (609) 292-1126.