Winning Teachers Who Rock 2018

We are proud to welcome the following teachers to the WRAT Teachers Who Rock  Class of 2018, presented by the New Jersey Education Association.
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CHRISTINE SCHMIDT
Ocean Acres Elementary School
ESP OF THE YEAR

Chrisitine Schmidt, a Home School Liaison at Ocean Acres Elementary in Manahawkin.

Christine’s ability to be friendly, warm and approachable to students, parents and faculty members assists in opening the door to trust that is so important for education.

Since students come from all types of families with varied situations, Mrs. Schmidt is crucial in helping them learn to accept and embrace their own diversity. Christine listens without judgement and shares ideas with students to help them reach a crucial decision and learning experiences.

The Rat is honoring her dedication to education by including Mrs. Schmidt in our class of ’18 Teachers Who Rock.


ANNA CAMPISE
Lacey Twp Middle School
ESP OF THE YEAR

Mrs. Campise has walked the halls of Lacey Middle school for 30 years. She believes that you have to know the shoes a child walks in, in order to help them achieve. Because she cares, she gets to know their story and then asks, “how can I help?”

Here’s what one teacher said about Anna: Anyone who has Mrs. Campise in their classroom should feel honored to have such an amazing professional to assist with educational and classroom needs.

Anna is tough, but caring; strict, but understanding; and she sees each day as a new start.

Today we’re proud to take a moment to welcome Anna Campise of Lacey Township Middle School to the 2018 class of Teachers Who Rock.


ALICIA INTROMASSO
Lakewood Middle School

Alicia Intromasso, a special ed teacher at Lakewood Middle School.

Alicia has dedicated herself to becoming a life-long educator and learner, and she strives to instill a similar desire in all of her students. Alicia instills life skills that are both practical and beneficial in her student's daily lives.

Mrs. Intromasso ignites her students' interest by creating learning opportunities that are challenging, meaningful, and relevant. She believes that teachers must embrace change, encourage innovation, and foster creativity; not just in their students, but in themselves. 

The Rat is honoring her dedication by including Alicia in our class of ’18 Teachers Who Rock


CHERYL MCDONALD
Marine Academy of Science and Technology in Highlands

Marine Acedemy of Science and TechnologyCheryl McDonald, a 9th grade teacher at Marine Academy of Science and Technology in Highlands.

Over the years, Ms. McDonald has served as clubs advisor, a mentor to students on their senior projects, and participated in many school committees. She is dedicated to the success of the students and the school as a whole because she is the one who helped create the schools’ science program to begin with.

Cheryl’s spirit of volunteerism is very strong and many students have caught that community spirit bug from her as they accompany her to The Center in Asbury, or other endeavors.

Ms. McDonald takes the time and care to make sure that each student knows what is needed to reach a high standard of success. She knows when and how to inspire them towards further growth.

We’re proud to take a moment to welcome Cheryl McDonald to the 2018 class of Teachers Who Rock.


NICOLE FOY
Toms River East High School 

Nicole Foy, a special education teacher at TRE high school.

Nicole works tirelessly to help her students, not only in learning the class work, but also in becoming productive people in their personal lives.

The work Day never seems to end for Ms. Foy as she even spends her lunch time to give special tutoring to insure the students get extra help. After school hours are frequently occupied by conferences and phone calls to parents and other school administrators who can help to keep the students on track.

Nicole knows that each student, regardless of background, home situation or handicap deserves a chance at education.

We’re honoring her dedication by including Nicole in our class of ’18 Teachers Who Rock.


MARY WYMAN
Red Bank Middle School

Mary Wyman, a 28 year teaching veteran at Red Bank Middle School.

Even after 28 years, Mary still possesses the spirit and excitement that you often find in a first year teacher. She is the school Climate and Culture Specialist which means she works for a positive learning environment for all.

Much of her work is geared towards preparing students for college work and students develop a sense for personal achievement gained through hard work and determination. Mary conducts community fundraisers so that students can participate in unfunded activities like trips and outings. Often, kids help with fundraising and, through this, learn what volunteering is all about.

Because she is responsible for so much, it’s clear that Mrs. Wyman has been, and will continue to be, the biggest advocate for the Red Bank Public Schools and its children.

Mary Wyman, today we’re proud to take a moment to welcome you to the 2018 class of Teachers Who Rock.


 

LAURA BORRELLI

Jackson Liberty High School

Jackson Liberty high SchoolLaura Borrelli, an English teacher at Jackson Liberty High School. Mrs. Borrelli is her school’s “go to” teacher. If you need to organize a pep rally, go to her. If you need a wining Varsity soccer, LaCrosse, and Basketball coach, “go to” Laura Borrelli. If you need help with a fundraiser, Liberty Idol, Brainiac competition, “go to” Laura Borelli.

Not even the dreaded “C” can keep Laura down. Did her fight against cancer keep her from her teaching duties? No way. In fact, students pretty much waited in line for the honor of helping with the teacher’s wheel chair. Chemotherapy? You met your match.

Too boot, her approach to teaching English makes her subjects leap from the page and inspire herculean efforts from her students. One look at her “Rate My Teacher” page confirms it all.

We’re super stoked to honor Laura Borrelli of Jackson Liberty as a Teacher Who Rocks.


CAROL CARUSO
Communications High School in Wall

Carol Caruso, a guidance counselor at Communications High School in Wall.

Tackling student anxiety has become a personal and professional goal of Mrs. Caruso. That anxiety can lead to serious health issues, even suicidal thoughts, so it’s not an issue to be taken lightly.

Thanks to her efforts focusing kids’ thoughts on mindfulness, students are showing real growth and improvement.

Carol’s style with parents and students is positive, thoughtful, and patient. She does not shy away from difficult conversations or from challenging parents and students to continue working hard on their futures.

Persistence is her own reward as well as she always demonstrates an eagerness to learn, a willingness to improve her practice, and an openness to constructive feedback. Consider this a major shout out to you, Carol.

Today we’re proud to take a moment to welcome you to the 2018 class of Teachers Who Rock.


MIKE FITZGERALD
Brick Memorial High School

Brick Memorial

Mike Fitzgerald is a Chemistry teacher at Brick Memorial High School. Mr. Fitzgerald can include Harvard and Princeton on his resume but it’s his work with our local students that brings him the most fulfillment.

Mike is able to relate to and reach kids at all academic levels and uses easily examples to get complex concepts across; this skill enables him to teach at a variety of levels.

Whether it’s an academic responsibility he is tasked with or just another day on bus duty, Mike attacks every responsibility with enthusiasm and resolve.

One saving grace for Mr. Fitzgerald is his ability to relate to students with humor and grace… Before him, no one really thought Chemistry class could be funny.

For his dedication to his profession and his ability to meet all professional challenges, in and out of the classroom… today, The Rat is proud to welcome Mr. Fitzgerald into the 2018 class of teachers who rock.


SHEA O'NEILL
Walnut Street Elementary School in Toms River

Walnut Street Elementary SchoolShea O'Neill is a kindergarten teacher at Walnut Street Elementary School in Toms River.

Incredibly, kids in Mrs. O’Neill’s class become authors during the school year. For example, last year’s project had kids researching topics for a book titled, “All About Animals”.

Shea’s appreciation of history sets her apart from the field. To emphasize culture and history, she holds an annual Cultural Celebration where students, with their parents help, research their nationality and write interesting facts about their country of origin. The project culminates with kids bringing in cultural food from their family origin; giving kids a classroom trip around the world in food and fun.

Mrs. O’Neill’s bilingual abilities create other impressive educational opportunities that serve students and parents alike, resulting in increased parental participation and academic success.

Because of her work, Shea has been chosen to create a variety of district wide curriculums and in-services for staff training in Social Studies, Writing, Reading, Diversity, and Cultural Sensitivity. Today we’re proud to take a moment to welcome Mrs. O’Neill to the 2018 class of Teachers Who Rock.


TARA O'BRIEN
At H&M Potter School In Bayville.

Ms. O’brien Is An Outstanding Teacher Who Works To Individually Reach All Of Her Students Every Day.  Over The Years, She Has Brought Many Amazing Programs To Her Class And Grade Level Including The Shoprite Young Consumers Program And Project Terrapin.

Tara Is A Resource For Her Colleagues As Well, Serving As A Mentor To Several Teachers Throughout The Building. She Is Always Going Above And Beyond To Incorporate And Share New Innovative Ideas. This Year, Tara Also Served As An Integral Member Of The District’s Science Curriculum Writing Committee. She’s Also In Charge Of The School’s Project Starfish After School Program For Their Homeless And Displaced Students. Tara O’brien Provides A Constant Support System For These Students And That’s Why She Is A Teacher Who Rocks.


NORA GREEN
Joseph T. Donahue

Nora Green, A 1st Grade Teacher At Joseph T. Donahue In Barnegat. Nora Holds Certificates In Both Elementary Education As Well As Special Education.   In The 16 Years That She’s Been Teaching, She’s Completed Her Master’s And Is Currently Working Toward A Post Graduate Certificate. Nora Is Not Only A Dedicated Teacher, She Is Also A Wife, And Mother. For The Last 5 Years, Nora Has Been Teaching In The 1st Grade Intervention Class. Her Students Come To Her Struggling Academically, Especially In Reading. She Assists Them In Reaching Their Highest Potential And More Often Than Not, They Leave Her Class Reading On Grade Level. She Keeps Close Track Of Each Student’s Strengths And Weaknesses And What Each One Needs To Focus On. Enter Nora’s Classroom On Any Given Day, And You’ll See Students Fully Engaged In Learning. Her Classroom Is Full Of Warmth, Love, And Caring. Nora Doesn’t Need To Use A Teacher’s Manual Or A Set Lesson From A Series. She Designs Everything Herself Using A Variety Of Self Created Resources. Nora Truly Loves What She Does And Wants To Share All She Can With Others Including Her Colleagues. She Even Manages To Find Time To Advocate For Her Fellow Teachers As A Member Of The B.E.A. She Is Always Positive With Both Her Students And Colleagues And That’s Why Nora Green Is A Teacher Who Rocks


MORGAN TOAL
Lakewood Middle School

Morgan Toal, 8th grade English Teacher at Lakewood Middle School. Morgan receives the honor because of the leadership she shows her students and colleagues at school.

High expectations are set because that what sets achievement levels. Morgan knows the importance of those PARK tests but also knows that relating to students is crucial to their learning and growth.

Mrs. Toal’s colleagues appreciate her leadership when new technology becomes available as she’s likely to be the person to use the advancements successfully and can teach other teachers so they can use the technology as well.


STEPHANIE MCCLELLAND
Bayville School

Stephanie McClelland, a second grade teacher at Bayville School.

Her tiny basic skill's room is the envy of every staff member in the building. Each nook and cranny is set up in individual stations for her students to feel comfortable and confident in their daily assignments.

Stephanie’s calm, nurturing environment is only part of the reason for today’s honor. Her volunteer work is also what makes Mrs. McClelland special.

Her contributions to the yearly holiday celebration is huge. The 90th anniversary celebration probably wouldn’t have happened without her help. And even the first ever “Escape the School” night was a big success because of her work.


 ALYSSA MAY
Red Bank Primary School

We honor Alyssa May, a kindergarten teacher at Red Bank Primary School.

The school has a unique challenge due to English as a second language and family income levels being lower than the community; but this doesn’t stop Alyssa. She invites daily family interaction to help students become comfortable and rallies for her kids whenever needed.

Mrs. May’s leadership with the PTO has created countless additional learning experiences for students. For example, she helps bring Santa and the school’s Winter Ball, assists the organization of Harvest Festival and Pizza Bingo events and she spear-headed a visit from the Harlem Wizards trick basketball team. All these events help create a community at Red Bank Primary.

As Mrs. May continues her doctorate in education at Rutgers, we ask that she take a moment to rest at our Teachers Who Rock awards banquet at the Clarion in Toms River.


MICHELLE SPEIDEL
Clara B. Worth Elementary

Michelle Speidel, a kindergarten teacher at Clara B. Worth Elementary in Bayville.

Mrs. Speidel plans engaging, dynamic lessons that create meaningful experiences for her students. Mrs. Speidel’s love of learning is contagious, kids pick it right up.

Michelle shines outside the classroom as well because she knows teaching goes beyond the books. The Target Field Trip Grant she worked on provides for a student visit to Popcorn Park Zoo. But, she takes it a step further and organizes a food and blanket drive for animals leading up to the visit.

As the co-chair of the school spirit wear committee, Mrs. Speidel helps design, order, and distribute the CBW spirit wear. Over the years, she’s received many Donors Grants which fund other meaningful learning experiences for students outside of the classroom.


LAUREN MATTEI
Memorial Middle School

Lauren Mattei, a Language Arts Teacher at Memorial Middle School in Point Pleasant.

Anyone who knows her, colleagues and students, would tell you that Mrs. Mattei is always the first to say, "If you need anything, I'm here," and she means it.  Lauren is the kind of person who would go without so that someone else could have instead.

Lauren constantly includes others, acknowledging their opinions and ideas and has become a leader in the school. This caring attitude is exemplified in the class room. For example, this past holiday, she gave her classes the assignment of, “write something positive about everyone in class.” Unbeknownst to the students, she printed each response and made an ornament for each child containing all of the things that their peers said about them. You can imagine the genuine positivity this created in class.


JESSICA BROSNAN
Manchester Township Elementary School

Jessica Brosnan, she’s the 1st and 4th grade basic skills teacher at Manchester Township Elementary School.

When a student is having difficulty it’s Jessica’s job to get to the bottom of it. She is hard working; dedicated and committed to student success.

Mrs. Brosnan is so knowledgeable that she’s become a case manager for many intervention and referral students where she works tirelessly to help students overcome obstacles. Jessica knows how important it is to get learners on the right track early.

Jessica’s dedication to students goes well into her personal time as she has a lead role in the district’s Kevin’s Kids program which strives to make Christmas a reality for all kids.

For this program, she manages all of the referrals for families in need in the school district, maintaining a huge database of their specific needs. All of this above her normal responsibilities. Jessica is a Teacher Who Rocks here on the Jersey Shore.


JOHN ADRANOVITZ
Red Bank Middle School

John Adranovitz, is a social studies teacher at Red Bank Middle School. John is great at creating a trusting environment for his students. So much so that his kids always know they can go to him with just about anything.

Mr. Adranovitz uses his Language Arts block to teach students about empathy by sharing stories and life experiences. As a school soccer coach, John instills good sportsmanship and fair play in students’ minds. He is a mentor and much needed role model whom all of the boys turn to in times of need.

For his coworkers, John organizes something called the Sunshine Club which honors colleagues who may be facing life challenges, he volunteers for countless after school activities and provides an excellent balance of professionalism, learning, and good humor in the school.

We’re looking forward to honoring Mr. Adranovitz


SARAH LINE
Southern Regional Middle School

Sarah Line, a science teacher with 19 dedicated years of service at Southern Regional Middle School in Manahawkin.

Mrs. Line isn’t afraid to blow stuff up in the name of science. Some days begin with an email to the staff that they should ignore the smoke coming from her class… because, well, Sarah’s doing an experiment today.

Sarah is able to reach students of all learning abilities and she does it in a way that captures her students in science. Other teachers overhear kids talking about that day’s experiments saying things like, “Hey wasn’t that cool how Mrs. Line’s hair stood up?” or “Did you get your pin through the balloon without popping it?”

Sarah uses science for good: Every year, students research a genetic disorder and, after the class hears student presentations on each… they vote on which condition to raise money for. It’s a learning process and community service program rolled together.

Sure, we could list all the clubs that she volunteers for, the summer research programs she takes part in when she doesn’t have to… but we’ll just end it with: Mrs. Line, you make the Jersey Shore student experience special and that’s why you are a Teacher Who Rocks!

 


JEREMY LEIGHTY
Lacey Township Middle School

Jeremy Leighty of Lacey Township Middle School is our first teacher who rocks this week. Jeremy is a music teacher veteran of 17 years and a veteran of the Pennsylvania Air Guard as well.

As Band Director at LTMS, he spends his personal time and treasure to bring the entire LTMS band and chorus to Hersey Park for Battle of the Bands; he takes the students to NYC for concert in the park; and to Great Adventure for local Battle of the Bands.

Outside of his teaching duties Jeremy volunteers for any activity that involves the students. However, it’s during the schools Pep Rally that Jeremy shines. Jeremy takes charge of ALL the music during the Pep Rally. He infuses all music, student played, during the student games and makes the entire event memorable for everyone involved.

There is no student or staff member within the building who doesn’t know or respect Mr. Leighty; that’s the trust he’s built.

Today, WRAT is proud to welcome Mr. Leighty to the Class of 2018 Teachers Who Rock


CHRISTINE ORRICO
Hazlet Middle School

Christine Orrico, a behaviorist with the district Child Study Team in Hazlet Township, and she is an in-class support special education teacher in Hazlet Middle School's seventh grade history classes.

That’s a lot of fancy words for, “she cares a lot about and works hard for kids in school”.

Ms. Orrico is the go-to person in our building whenever there is a child in need. Christine patiently works with students and teachers to make a plan for successful learning under even the most challenging circumstances. She is dedicated to the fact that every child can learn, that every child deserves a chance, and that every child is valuable and important to our school community.

When a plan goes awry or a change is needed, Ms. Orrico is right there making new suggestions, coming up with new ideas, and implementing new ideas.

Today, WRAT is proud to welcome Christine Orrico to the Class of 2018 Teachers Who Rock


STACEY KAKOS
Berkeley Township Elementary School

Berkeley Township Schools

Stacy Kakos, the guidance counselor at Berkeley Township Elementary School.

Stacy has been in education for nearly sixteen years and has recently changed schools within the Berkeley District. When presented with a new opportunity, she took the path that required more work and more effort. This willingness to completely move from her comfort zone impressed us the most.Not to mention the many times she’s found students in special situations and filled their needs. Whether it be making sure there’s a Thanksgiving meal for them or a small holiday gift during the season. Stacy is always providing guidance for families in crisis or in need and is always focused on solutions.

One final note: The garden project she brought local business to support taught kids so much about farming and eating right. These are lessons that will help our students for a long, long time.

 

 


 

ELIZABETH MOORE
Central Regional High School

Elizabeth Moore, music teacher at Central Regional High School.

Beth Moore is not only a dynamic music teacher but also a talented choral director who is solely responsible for Central Regional students singing at Carnegie Square, and even at the White House.

Mrs. Moore has also worked very hard at producing and directing a middle school musical for at least the past 10 years and plays a crucial part in directing vocals and playing music for the high school's large spring musical.

Beth creates new, innovative ways to engage her students as she coaches high school students to engage in student-direction which gives them valuable experience as directors that they can take to other areas of their lives, even beyond performing.

Today, WRAT is proud to welcome Elizabeth Moore to the Class of 2018 Teachers Who Rock