MANCHESTER – Like many school districts across the State, Manchester participates in the New Jersey Teacher of the Year and Educational Service Professional Recognition Program. The winners were recently acknowledged. They were awarded at the schools in Manchester and the Regional Day School in Jackson.
The district recognized those nominated by their colleagues as someone who has gone above and beyond. Superintendent of Schools John Berenato presented each of the building’s two winners with a commemorative flower and certificate celebrating their 2023 Teacher of the Year and Educational Service Professional of the Year wins, respectively.
The superintendent extended congratulations to the High School’s Teacher of the Year Tracy Racioppi and Educational Service Professional of the year Kate Colon; Middle School’s Teacher of the Year Darla Lanza and Educational Service Professional of the Year Kim Fink; Manchester Township Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year Melissa Nazaro and Educational Service Professional of the Year Chelsie Castronuovo.
He also congratulated Ridgeway Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year Robyn Palmer and Educational Service Professional of the Year JoAnn Delahanty; Whiting Elementary’s Teacher of the Year Paulina Rapciewicz and Educational Service Professional of the Year Donna Cavallo and Regional Day School’s Teacher of the Year Kimberly Peel and Educational Service Professional of the Year Haley Lindquist.
“It is a great privilege to present our educators with the honor of being named Teacher of the Year and Educational Service Professional of Year,” Berenato added. “Through this honor, these wonderful educators of ours are set apart by their colleagues and school community as being the best among the best.”
Berenato said, “we are proud of the dedication and heart that the Manchester Township School District’s staff pours into their jobs as educators and caring professionals.”
The New Jersey Teacher of the Year and Educational Service Professional Recognition Program acknowledges school professionals who are nominated by their colleagues as someone who goes above and beyond by being dedicated, inspiring, and making a difference in their school buildings. Director of Student Personnel Services, Alex George, organizes the initiative for the school district and guides the school buildings on the process that is required by the State in order for Manchester Schools to participate.
Each school building formed a committee, overseen by the school building Principal, that consisted of the Principal, last year’s Teacher of the Year, a building administrator, a parent and one other teacher chosen after nominations are in, to avoid conflict.
A nomination form is then distributed to all staff for their anonymous vote. Each candidate is scored based on the State of New Jersey’s suggested criteria of: Serves as an exceptionally skilled and dedicated educator in a public or charter school; Inspires students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn; Demonstrates leadership and innovation in and outside the classroom; has the respect and admiration of students, parents, administrators and colleagues; and plays an active role in the community as well as the school.
After the school building’s Committee verifies submissions and determines the staff submitted winners, they are then submitted to the New Jersey Department of Education to be considered for the State’s Teacher and/or Educational Service Professional of the Year.