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Jon Zlock
    Kathryn Forsyth, Director

For Release: March 27, 2008

Three New Jersey Educators Earn National Awards

Three outstanding New Jersey educators have received national awards this year in recognition of their accomplishments both in and out of the classroom, Education Commissioner Lucille E. Davy announced today.

Deirdra Grode, a seventh- and eighth-grade social studies teacher at Hoboken Charter School was announced last week as the 2008 Outstanding Young Educator Award recipient by the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), a non-profit, non-partisan organization that represents more than 175,000 educators from 119 countries.

Grode was selected from a field of 400 nominations by a panel of educational professionals.  She has a bachelor’s degree from Boston College’s Lynch School of Education and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Teachers College.  She has taught in a Costa Rican village as part of World Teach, and she has spent time as a bilingual outreach worker.

Grode won the award for her success in preparing her students to meet and exceed high academic standards and for raising students' awareness of social justice issues. According to the association, Grode regularly provides her students with innovative service learning and character education opportunities.

The ASCD Outstanding Young Educator Award nominee is an education professional, 40 years of age or younger, who demonstrates exemplary commitment and exceptional contribution to the profession.

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Two other educators honored this school year are Martin Smith, a district supervisor of world languages and curriculum in the Edison School District, and Janet Glass, a Spanish teacher at Dwight-Englewood School. 

Both were honored in November at the annual conference of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in San Antonio in November.

Smith was named the National Foreign Language District Supervisor of the Year.  An educator for 30 years, he is the vice president for Professional Development Programs for the Foreign Language Educators of New Jersey and was a member of the Consensus Planning Committee for the Foreign Language National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

Glass was named National Foreign Language Teacher of the Year.  She has taught at the elementary, middle and high school levels. She has received the Foreign Language Educators of New Jersey award for Outstanding Contributions to Foreign Language Education and was also recognized by Dwight-Englewood School for teaching excellence and creativity.

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