WEST ORANGE, NJ — The West Orange Board of Education recognized its 2022-2023 Governor’s Educators of the Year honorees during its Jan. 23 meeting at West Orange High School.
The Governor’s Educator of the Year Program highlights educational innovation, student achievement, exemplary teaching and important services outside the classroom environment that lead to student success. This celebratory program recognizes the state’s best teachers and educational services professionals.
Honorees are exceptionally skilled and dedicated licensed classroom teachers or educational services professionals. Among several eligibility criteria, they must also be experts in the field who inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn; actively collaborate with colleagues, students and families to create a strong culture of respect and success; demonstrate leadership and innovation in educational activities; and have the respect and admiration of students, parents and colleagues.
Personnel and special projects Executive Director Joseph Vespignani introduced each school’s principal, who then announced their award-winning teacher and, if the school has ESPs, its award-winning ESP. The room was filled to capacity with family, friends, staff and fellow educators, who were there to celebrate their friends and co-workers.
Winners are: Betty Maddalena Early Learning Center teacher Lauren Porter and ESP Jacqueline Smeragliuolo; Gregory Elementary School teacher Rose Marie Kelly; Hazel Elementary School teacher Nicole Payne-Venezia; Kelly Elementary School teacher Kelly Clancy and ESP Stephanie Ross; Mt. Pleasant Elementary School teacher Kimberly Tawil; Redwood Elementary School teacher Lisa DeMichele; St. Cloud Elementary School teacher Gregory Marchesi and ESP Laurie Stecklow; Washington Elementary School teacher Amy Jakimas and ESP Rene Simone-Wells; Edison Middle School teacher Chitra Ramchandani, who received the award posthumously, and ESP Jeffrey Lafoon; Liberty Middle School teacher Maryann Solimo and ESP Sara Cabral-Fogarty; Roosevelt Middle School teacher Janis Oliver and ESP Michele Blum; and West Orange High School teacher William Farley and Ferdinand Christian III.
Photos Courtesy of WOSD