Congratulations to this year’s Bergen County Teacher/ Educational Services Professional Recognition Award recipients: Ms. Erica Donato for Shaler Academy, Ms. Maida Weisman for Bergen Boulevard School, Ms. Laura Ballerini for Slocum Skewes School, and Mr. Joseph Skunca for Ridgefield Memorial High School. Pictured left with Superintendent Dr. Frank Romano in descending order are: Photo 1) Shaler Academy Principal Ms. Anna Gaeta, Assistant Principal Mr. Peter Mastrangelo, Recipient Ms. Donato, REPTA President Ms. Josephine Mendoza; Photo 2) Recipient Ms. Weisman, Bergen Boulevard Assistant Principal Mr. Peter Mastrangelo, REPTA President Ms. Josephine Mendoza, and Principal Ms. Anna Gaeta; Photo 3) REPTA President Ms. Josephine Mendoza, Slocum Skewes School Principal Mr. John Coviello, and Recipient Ms. Ballerini; and Photo 4) PTA President Ms. Lisa Haase, RMHS Principal Dr. Tamika DePass, and Recipient Mr. Skunca.
The Teacher Recognition Program was developed in 1985 for the purpose of acknowledging teachers who exhibit outstanding performance. The rationale for this program is based on the premise that teaching excellence is one of the most significant factors impacting student achievement and the quality of public schools. Further, acknowledging excellence encourages teachers to continue to strive towards that goal. For the purpose of this program, teachers are defined as those whose primary responsibility is classroom instruction.
The Educational Services Professionals Recognition Act was enacted on January 9, 2004 for the purpose of acknowledging those who hold educational services professional certificates and who exhibit outstanding performance. Recognition of educational services professionals is based on their contributions to the success of public schools and the important services they provide outside of the classroom environment that improve students’ academic opportunities, workforce preparedness and overall quality of life. Some examples of Educational Services Professionals include Library Media Specialist, Nurse, Counselor, Reading Specialist; Occupational Therapist; Physical Therapist; Psychologist, School Social Worker, and Speech-Language Specialist.
This year’s recipients comprise a mix of three teachers, and one education service professional (School Social Worker/Student Assistance Coordinator). We are so proud of those who educate and support our students, faculty, and staff in a variety of wonderful ways.
At Ridgefield Public Schools, recipients receive a letter from the District, flowers from the PTAs, and prime parking spaces near the schools. They are formally recognized at the first May Board of Education meeting and at a County Luncheon held at the Fiesta in Wood-Ridge, New Jersey. Congratulations to all!