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For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Jon Zlock
    Kathryn Forsyth, Director

For Release: May 6, 2008

Education Commissioner Honors New Jersey Teachers
with Visit to Childhood Friend’s Classroom

New Jersey Education Commissioner Lucille E. Davy celebrated national Teacher Appreciation Day today with a visit to the fourth-grade classroom of one of her childhood friends, Kim Delatour, at Woodruff Elementary School in Berkeley Heights.

"Honoring my friend and meeting her students and colleagues was my way of expressing my appreciation and gratitude for the dedicated service of the more than 110,000 teachers currently working in New Jersey schools and those who have retired," the Commissioner said.

Commissioner Davy sat with the fourth-graders for 45 minutes, asking them questions about their favorite subjects and their favorite parts of their school day. The Commissioner also took questions from the students, ranging from, "What did you want to be when you grew up?" to "How did you get your job?"

She talked about the importance of developing strong math, reading, and technology skills, and she also lauded teachers.

"Teachers are the ones who do the hard work," she told the students. "What teachers do every day makes a difference in your lives."

Commissioner Davy and Mrs. Delatour grew up in Livingston. They met in the fifth grade at Collins Elementary School, attended Heritage Junior High School and graduated from Livingston High School in 1973.

Mrs. Delatour, last year’s Woodruff Elementary School Teacher of the Year, has been an educator for nearly twenty years. She and her husband, Robert, have four children and live in Berkeley Heights.

"Kim knew she wanted to devote her life to educating children when we were in junior high school," Commissioner Davy said. "I would strongly encourage other young people who are starting to think about what they want to do in life to consider becoming a teacher. While the work is not easy, it is one of the most rewarding and gratifying careers you can imagine."

The Commissioner encouraged all New Jerseyans to spend a few minutes today reflecting on the outstanding teachers who helped them along the way.

"I had two particularly inspiring teachers who changed my life," she said. "Mrs. Elaine Gill, my high school AP English teacher, taught me the writing skills that have served me well in college, law school and throughout my professional career, and Mr. Richard Shue, my eighth grade Algebra teacher, convinced me that I could be good at mathematics."

Commissioner Davy holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Seton Hall University and a law degree from the University of Notre Dame School of Law. She was admitted to the New Jersey Bar in 1980, and is also a certified teacher of mathematics.