HOWELL – Thirteen educators from eight Howell Township schools were selected as New Jersey Exemplary Educators in 2020.
The purpose of the New Jersey Department of Education’s Exemplary Educator Recognition Program is to recognize educators who are valued by their school and community. These educators have displayed strong knowledge and skills, an inspiring presence and a clear vision for quality teaching and learning.
According to the department’s website, the program alternates between elementary (Pre-K to 5 grade) and secondary (6 to 12 grade) every year. For 2020, the department was pursuing elementary educators and for each selected educator, they were awarded with a state certificate.
In February of 2020, teachers, parents and community members nominated deserving educators throughout the state and the application process is then completed by district administrators and supervisors.
Within the 93 educators chosen from across New Jersey, 13 were Howell Township Public School educators.
“These 13 educators serve as a shining example of the many great colleagues and staff members that work throughout the Howell PreK-8 school district,” Superintendent of Schools Joseph Isola said. “We are extremely proud of this recognition and their commitment to their students.”
The educators honored from Howell consists of:
- Christina Saracino, Second Grade Teacher, Adelphia School.
- Stella Cohen, Instructional Coach, Ardena School.
- Larissa Sack, Instrumental Music Teacher, Ardena School.
- Tina Yorke, Computer Teacher, Ardena School.
- Michele Mack, Computer Teacher, Greenville School.
- Erin Lowman, Instructional Coach, Griebling School.
- Amber Williams-Allen, Extended Day Preschool Disabled Educator, Land O’Pines School.
- Angela O’Cone, Special Education Teacher, Memorial Elementary School.
- Skye Donzelli, Computer Teacher, Memorial Elementary School.
- Shannon Carusi, Special Education Teacher, Ramtown School.
- Kimberly Highley, Fifth Grade Teacher, Ramtown School.
- Patricia Lawlor, Physical Education Teacher, Ramtown School.
- Jennifer Cory, Special Education Teacher, Taunton School.
“I am honored and humbled to be among this outstanding group of educators,” Tina Yorke, Computer Teacher at Ardena School said. “Thank you to the New Jersey Department of Education and Howell Township for this awesome recognition.”
“I was honored and overjoyed to be named one of New Jersey’s Exemplary Elementary Educators,” said Larissa Sack, Instrumental Music at Ardena School. “I am grateful for the opportunity to share and foster a love of instrumental music with the children of Howell Township.”
“It is an honor to be recognized by the New Jersey Department of Education as an exemplary educator,” said Stella Cohen, English as a Second Language Instructional Coach at Ardena School. “I am humbled to say the least and I am lucky to be working with such talented teaching staff and supportive administrative team. This year has been one of the most challenging years for all of us. Amidst the pandemic we were faced with new obstacles and scenarios that all had to be addressed in short order. I couldn’t be prouder to be part of a team that came together, worked long collaborative hours, and made sure our system worked. Again, I am thankful for this recognition and the opportunity to continue serving the Howell community.”
“I was so very surprised to receive the Exemplary Educator award,” said Michele Mack, Computer Teacher at Greenville School. “We were in a faculty meeting when my principal, Lynn Coco announced the award and it was early in the morning, so I had to listen twice when she read off my name. It was such a nice surprise, and it made me so happy to realize that there are people who really appreciate what teachers are doing. I work with a wonderful staff, amazing educators, who just want what is best for students, especially during this pandemic.”
“I am both humbled and honored to be recognized for this award,” Erin Lowman, Instructional Coach at Griebling School said. “It is a great privilege to work in a district such as Howell with colleagues that not only celebrate success, but also inspire a strive to continue learning in education. I am grateful for the opportunity to have a positive effect on my students and my colleagues as they have had on me. I am extremely fortunate to be surrounded by so many inspiring professionals, and I am humbled to have had the opportunity to inspire others.”
“I was extremely honored to receive this recognition at such an early stage of my teaching career,” Amber Williams-Allen, Extended Day Preschool Disabled Educator at Land O’Pines School said. “This is my fourth year teaching in Howell School District, and I have grown so much as an educator already. It’s funny how life can bring detours and send you in different directions than you had originally planned. Before I became an educator, I was pursuing a career in the visual arts field. Over time, I realized that what I thought was a change in direction, was actually leading me exactly where I needed to be. I am thankful to be working in a school district that supports innovation and creative thinking. It is my passion to uplift my students and encourage them to reach their full potential. It is a blessing to be working alongside so many amazing people. I would like to thank the administration of Howell School District for nominating me for such an amazing award.”
“We are honored to receive the 2020 NJ Exemplary Educator Award,” Angela O’Cone, Special Education Teacher and Skye Donzelli, Computer Teacher at Memorial Elementary School said. “It is something that we cherish. More importantly, we are proud to be educators for the Howell Township School District and more specifically at Memorial School. Mr. Gredder and Mrs. Remo encourage collaboration among colleagues which directly enhances the educational experiences for our students and staff. Our efforts are a direct result of the positive atmosphere at Memorial School, where working with knowledgeable faculty and eager students create an opportunity to expand one’s teaching practices.”
“I am extremely humbled and honored to be recognized by Taunton School, Howell Township Public Schools, and the State of New Jersey,” Jennifer Cory, Special Education Teacher at Taunton School said. “I am proud to be part of a district that supports students’ social emotional learning and provides opportunities for students, parents, and staff to be a part of such an important endeavor.”