Christie Administration Announces New Jersey's County Teachers of the Year for 2014-15

For Immediate Release Contact: Michael Yaple
David Saenz
Date: July 31, 2014 609-292-1126

Trenton, NJ – The Christie Administration today announced the selection of New Jersey's 21 County Teachers of the Year and the State Facility Teacher of the Year for the 2014-2015 school year.

By recognizing the 22 teachers for their involvement in their schools, the New Jersey Department of Education has the opportunity to recognize some of the state's most dynamic educators, while gaining valuable input from its teachers. At the same time, teachers are kept up-to-date on the latest innovations of New Jersey educational policy and serve as ambassadors of this information for their own school districts.

The County Teachers of the Year were honored at an Orientation Ceremony on July 31 at the Department of Education in Trenton. Teachers had the opportunity to attend short presentations and interact in Q&A sessions with Department of Education personnel about educational initiatives, including New Jersey's Common Core State Standards, which better prepare children for college and career.

"It's my pleasure to congratulate all of our County Teachers of the Year and State Facility Teacher of the Year for 2014-15," said Acting Education Commissioner David Hespe. "These are model teachers who represent diverse content areas and grade levels. This award is a tribute to their talent, dedication, professionalism, and success with our students. Each year they serve as part of a valuable corps of teacher-leaders who can inspire all of us."

County Teachers of the Year are selected at the county level by panels representing a cross-section of administrators, teachers, parents, and county education association representatives convened by the executive county superintendants of schools.

A state-level panel of educators will select New Jersey's State Teacher of the Year based on a written application, video submission, and interviews with the top five finalists. The State Teacher of the Year will be announced at the State Board of Education's October meeting, and will go on to represent New Jersey at the National Teacher of the Year competition.

"For a school to have one of its educators named as County Teacher of the Year is a great honor. It is a huge community relations bonus," said Diane Cummins, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction in the Clearview Regional High School District. As the 2003-04 State Teacher of the Year, she has remained involved in the program at the local, county and state levels. "Having a Teacher of the Year showcases the professional staff's accomplishments and opens many doors of opportunity to educational initiatives and programs," she said.

The National Teacher of the Year Program, of which the County Teacher of the Year program is a part, began in 1952 and continues as the oldest, most prestigious national honors program that focuses public attention on excellence in teaching. It is implemented by the Chief Council of State School Officers (CCSSO). New Jersey signed on with CCSSO to implement the New Jersey Teacher of the Year program in 1969. 

Additional information can be found on the Department's Teacher of the Year web page.

New Jersey's 2014-2015 County Teachers of the Year and State Facility Teacher of the Year are as follows:

County Teacher Subject – Grade School District School
Atlantic Peter Davis Technology Education – Grade 5-8 Linwood Public School District Belhaven Avenue Middle School
Bergen Daniel Frare Science – Grade 6 Tenafly School District Tenafly Middle School
Burlington David Knecht English – Grade 9-12 Lenape Regional High School District Seneca High School
Camden Natalie Franco Elementary – Grade 5 Gloucester Township School District Gloucester Township Elementary School
Cape May Cynthia Leatherwood English – Grade 8 Dennis Township School District Dennis Township Middle School
Cumberland Lisa Frassetto Elementary – Grade 1 Upper Deerfield Township School District Charles F. Seabrook School
Essex Salvatore Lima Science – Grade 9-11 Essex County Vocational School District West Caldwell Tech
Gloucester Monica Marino Special Education – Grade 4 Deptford Township School District Shady Lane Elementary School
Hudson Mark Mautone Special Education – Preschool Hoboken Public School District Wallace Elementary School
Hunterdon Adrienne Harley Kindergarten & Student Support – Grade K-2 Flemington Raritan Regional School District Francis A. Desmares Elementary School
Mercer Ismat Shari Mathematics – Grade 9-12 Hamilton Township School District Hamilton High School West
Middlesex Stephanie Cardoso Elementary – Grade 5 Edison Township School District Martin Luther King Elementary School
Monmouth Melissa Murphy Special Education – Grade 6-8 Belmar School District Belmar Elementary School
Morris Geraldine Restivo Elementary – Grade 5 Randolph Township School District Fernbrook Elementary School
Ocean Carolyn Defino Special Education – Grade 6-7 Manchester Township School District Manchester Middle School
Passaic Coleen Weiss-Magasic Science – Grade 10-12 West Milford Township School District West Milford Township High School
Salem Susan Dyer Preschool Woodstown-Pilesgrove Regional School District Early Childhood Learning Center
Somerset Kathryn Tricarico Elementary – Kindergarten Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District Adamsville Primary School
State Facility Deborah Wood Elementary – Grade 4-7 NJ Dept. of Children & Families – Office of Ed. Cherry Hill Regional School Campus
Sussex Yvonne Mortello Elementary – Kindergarten Hopatcong Borough School District Hudson Maxim Elementary School
Union Drew Krumholz Spanish – Grade 9-12 Springfield Public School District Jonathan Dayton High School
Warren Ann Marie Ball Gifted & Talented, & Math Coach – Grade K-5 Phillipsburg School District Freeman School and Green Street School