CLARK — Eleven educators have been recognized for their achievements in the Clark Public School District through the Governor’s Educators of the Year Program and the New Jersey Exemplary Educator Program.
The Governor’s Educators of the Year Program recognizes “exceptionally skilled and dedicated” educators who must “be an expert in the field” and “who inspires students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn.” They must “actively collaborate with colleagues, students, and families to create a strong culture of respect and success.”
The educator should demonstrate “leadership and innovation in educational activities at the school, district and/or state and national levels that take place both within and outside the school setting” as well as have the “respect and admiration of students, parents, administrators and colleagues.”
Clark teachers recognized include: Joy Donaldson, English teacher, Arthur L. Johnson High School.
Carla Wagner, media specialist, Arthur L. Johnson High School Educational Services Professional.
Lauren Fernades, mathematics teacher, Carl H. Kumpf Middle School.
Michelle Burdo, occupational therapist, Carl H. Kumpf Middle School Educational Services Professional.
Kayla Rodrigues, special-education teacher, Frank K. Hehnly Elementary School.
Kristine Gilbert, teacher assistant, Frank K. Hehnly Elementary School Educational Services Professional.
Christopher Raguseo, physical education/health teacher, Valley Road Elementary School.
Maria DaSilva, paraprofessional aide, Valley Road Elementary School Educational Services Professional.
Erin Van De Water, special-education teacher, Clark Preschool.
Anthony DelConte, mathematics teacher and coach at Arthur L. Johnson High School, and Lauren Cesare, special-education teacher at Carl H. Kumpf Middle School, also were recently recognized by the New Jersey Department of Education as Exemplary Educators of the Year through the 2023 New Jersey Exemplary Educator Program.
According to the New Jersey Department of Education website, “Each year, the New Jersey Department of Education invites public school districts (including charter schools) to participate in the Exemplary Educator Recognition Program. The goal of this program is to identify outstanding educators for special recognition, alternating between elementary (Pre-K to 5) and secondary (6-12) every year. A state certificate of recognition is given out to each candidate that is selected as an Exemplary Educator.” The most recent round focused on secondary teachers.
The program seeks to identify exemplary educators who are “valued by their school community and have exhibited strong knowledge and skills, an inspiring presence, and a clear vision for quality teaching and learning.” They have demonstrated “exceptional teaching and leadership abilities” and have had a “positive impact on students, colleagues and the school community.”
Superintendent Edward Grande stated, “These recipients excel in all that they do for our students. They are model educators, and we are so fortunate that they are here in the Clark Schools with us.”