100.1 WJRZ's Teachers Who Rock - Class of 2017

We are proud to welcome the following teachers to the WJRZ Teachers Who Rock Class of 2017, presented by the New Jersey Education Association.
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DEBRA DOWD
Defino Elementary School

Mrs. Debra Dowd has been an elementary school librarian in Marlboro for 41 years. Her first library consisted of makeshift shelves at the end of a school hallway. Today, Mrs. Dowd runs a large media center that contains the latest award winning books, chromebooks, and robots, all inside an atmosphere where each student knows that they are valued and cared for.

The responsibilities as media specialist at Defino can only be filled by someone who is superhuman. Mrs. Dowd oversees coding, typing programs, book clubs, circuit boards, robotics, and STEAM design challenges. She has conducted workshops, assisted in curriculum writing, heads the school’s Author Day, helped create Poem in My Pocket, travels to book conventions, and has spent countless hours training herself in 21st century technology. All of this is on top of the responsibilities that come with being a librarian.

Even with her countless responsibilities, Mrs. Dowd always smiles, never complains, and will stop everything for just one student who needs help. When asked why she never considered retirement, she said, “I love the students; I love you guys; and I love what I do.”

For all she's done for her school and community, for her love and kindness, for being there for countless students over the last 41 years, Debra Dowd is the definition of a Teacher Who Rocks.


MOHAMMAD RAHIMI
Red Bank Middle School

When you walk into Red Bank Middle School, you will most likely be greeted by one of their most valuable players, Mohammad Rahimi.

Mr. Mohammad is so much more than a custodian. He takes pride in his work and his school, and puts a smile on the face of everyone he sees. While diligently working to keep the school clean and safe, Mr. Mohammed goes above and beyond to help the staff with anything they need. Mr. Mohammed knows the names of every single staff member and many of the students. He even takes the time to learn phrases in Spanish to speak to Spanish speaking students.

Mr. Mohammed is a role model for our students and shows them what it means to be hard working, courteous, and respectful and an empathetic human being. Recently, he heard of a group of students who were trying to raise money to buy a bicycle for a friend and insisted on contributing and helping them with their cause.

Mr. Mohammed is amazingly professional, hard-working, respected, and, while not a teacher, genuinely concerned with promoting the education of the students, making him an Education Support Professional Who Rocks!


BECKY MELANSON
H&M Potter School

Mrs. Becky Melanson is a jack of all trades! In her nearly 20-year career, Becky continues to develop a strong relationship with all of the 575 students at Potter by working in small groups, individual groups, and whole class lessons. Students line up to be part of her daily “Lunch Bunch” groups daily that help the students work on different social and coping skills with the students.

Becky is also in charge of the school Student Council, assisting with school fundraisers, initiatives, and other events. She works closely with the students to promote Potter in a very positive way.

From acting as the school’s HIB Coordinator, to working with 4th graders on morning announcements, to the Project Team program which promotes positive behavior – there’s not much that goes on without her guidance.

Mrs. Melanson is truly an irreplaceable asset to Potter School. Her experience, knowledge, and listening ear are second to none, making her a Teacher Who Rocks.


VINCE MOTTERN
Viola Sickles Elementary School

As you walk into Vince’s room, you can immediately sense that “this is not your ordinary class.” The lighting and furniture are different, there is accent lighting and area rugs. His room inviting, comfortable and conducive to learning for all students. His classes are informative and interactive with singing, playing instruments, learning about music history, reading notes and making rhythms.

Yet, Mr. Mottern’s interesting music classes are only a part of what he does. Vince goes out of his way by writing scripts and adapting songs, on his own time, for the students and staff; material used in several events throughout the school year including Back to School night, a Halloween show, a winter holiday event and Read Across America.

Vince also voluntarily finds songs and video clips that correspond with topics in all subjects and emails them to the teachers so they can enhance their lessons. Vince integrates what the students are learning in their regular classrooms into his music classes.

Vince Mottern is a dedicated professional, an inspiring colleague, and a phenomenal teacher who truly cares about his students. These are just some of the reasons that Vince Mottern is a Teacher Who Rocks.


LAURIE SHUPIN
Jackson Liberty High School

Jackson Liberty High SchoolMs. Laurie Shupin, a business teacher at Jackson Liberty High School, began with the district as an elementary school teacher. The same students she has nurtured in elementary school are now her high school students. All of the basic education and skills Laurie taught her students in elementary school is now reflected back to her in the faces of the high school students who have become the top of their class.

Laurie’s influence goes beyond the classroom. She dedicates her time to numerous school initiatives including being the Business Academy adviser, the liaison for the PTA, a chaperone for school events, multiple year class adviser, junior and senior prom organizer, and events coordinator.

Laurie devotes countless hours to the school’s student business competitions and teams, promoting not just competition and justice, but self-esteem and wisdom. Ms. Shupin is always there to lend a helping hand.

Because of her endless energy and selfless dedication to her school, Laurie Shupin is absolutely a Teacher Who Rocks.


CHRIS GOIDICS
Clara B. Worth Elementary School

Berkeley School DistrictChris Gojdics is an energetic, entertaining, confident teacher who finds creative ways to connect with his students and make content more engaging. Chris has been teaching 4th grade at Clara B. Worth Elementary School (CBW) for fifteen years. During his time at CBW, he has been a mentor to several aspiring teachers, and he has demonstrated the dedication, creativity, and responsibility teaching requires every day.One of Chris’s passions is music, which he regularly brings into the classroom. He can often be found playing the guitar, creating videos, and using drama to encourage the love of learning. Every day Chris plans engaging, dynamic lessons that create meaningful experiences for his students, always willing to go the extra mile.

Chris was instrumental in the launch of the school’s newest initiative, “Project Team,” even donning a cape and soaring through the audience to encourage student interest in a new program. Chris was also one the first staff members to pilot “Compass Learning,” an individualized digital learning experience for students.

Chris volunteers for many after school activities including “Flip the Script,” which is a professional development opportunity for his colleagues, and “The Amazing Race,” a fun-filled family race to adventure.

Chris Gojdics deserves recognition for his devotion both in and out of the classroom. He works hard to provide the best education possible for all his students. He is always seeking a challenge and is there to assists his colleagues in any way possible. In every way possible Mr. Chris Gojdics is the definition of a Teacher Who Rocks!


LYNN ANDREN
Middle School MD Teacher at Russel O. Brackman Middle School

Lynn Andren has been teaching learning-disabled children from Kindergarten through 8th grade for over 30 year and she still approaches her job with as much enthusiasm and diligence as if she were a new teacher just starting out.

Every year Lynne formulates a program that is specifically designed for each student in her classroom. Her true passion shows through the individualized attention and focus that she gives each student while guiding them to achieve their greatest potential. Lynn sets high goals for her students to ensure that they have the necessary skills to perform tasks independently after they leave middle school.

Lynn started the Multiple Disabilites program when she began at Brackman. She incorporates academics as well as social and life skills into the students’ lives, including experience operating the school’s student-run coffee shop as well as making crafts for the kids to sell to their peers. The goal of these activities is to understand the importance of creating quality items, how to market items for maximum profit, as well as using the profit to achieve rewards.

Lynn is a wonderful co-worker and strives for excellence each and every day. Her students benefit from her positive attitude and her commitment to their success. Lynn Andren is a remarkable teacher and deserves to be recognized for her hard work as a Teacher Who Rocks.


CHERI CARAVANO
Math Teacher at Lakewood Middle School

Cheri Caravano is highly respected by students, staff, and parents alike. She believes that all students can learn and she sets high expectations for them. Cheri creates a classroom environment that makes the students feel safe, secure, and empowered to become citizens in a global society.

Cheri integrates technology into her lesson plans and uses it as a means to help her students better understand the material. Recently she was awarded 30 UNICEF Kid Power Bands. These, along with an app, allow students to learn about new cultures as they get active. As kids move they earn points that unlock funding that UNICEF uses to deliver life-saving nutritious food to malnourished children around the world. Cheri’s involvement has inspired other students and staff members to be part of the program too.

Cheri often stays after school to help students in the intervention and alternative school programs. She has constant contact with parents, she volunteers for after school events, clothing drives, and the annual Curriculum Expo.

Cheri Caravano is a true role model for educators. She has an amazing record of achievement and is valued by her co-workers, students, and administration alike, definitely making her a Teacher Who Rocks.


KEVIN BETTYS
High School Teacher at Brick Memorial High School

Brick memorial High SchoolIn an age where science and technology dominate nearly all progressive movements in education, Kevin Bettys shines in a less heralded, ancestral discipline: the arts. Most teachers would be thrilled if students could achieve 95% mastery of the content being taught, but in the music field that same score means a performer missed five out of every 100 notes! If each student in the chorus earned a 95%, they would sound awful. This is Kevin Bettys’ world, where the expectation of perfection is the norm. While a daunting prospect for many, Kevin embraces the challenge.
Kevin and his choirs are often called upon to act as school ambassadors. From Christmas caroling in the community, to performing at graduation, induction ceremonies, to pep rallies and sporting events, Kevin’s students always show relentless professionalism, confidence and impressive talents, which are all direct reflections of the standards Kevin models each day.

In the classroom, Kevin works with students of varying skill levels. From beginners on up to AP music theory students, high standards and judging without being judgmental are the norm. Kevin is usually among the first to arrive each day and often closes the building alongside the custodial crew.

For his dedication to teaching over the last 20 years, combined with his self-inflicted pain and anguish of being a die-hard fan of Syracuse basketball that would leave a normal man curled up in a ball somewhere, Kevin Bettys is definitely a Teacher Who Rocks (and Rolls)!


RICK MCGOVERN
Special Education & Resource Teacher at Red Bank Primary School

Rick McGovern has been a Special Ed teacher at Red Bank Primary School since 1991. He is truly a stellar example of what an educator should be. As one of the few male figures in the building, he has been a role model to countless young boys throughout his years here. Over the last few years Rick has been a resource room teacher, working with 2nd and 3rd graders that need additional support in instructional and behavioral areas in order to better prepare them for general education.

Rick spends summers working at The Harbor School, a school for students with special needs. Every year at Thanksgiving he hand delivers baskets of food collected during our drive. Every year at Christmas time Rick and his wife adopt a needy family from the school and do their best to fulfill the kids' wish list. He along with his wife also generously donate their time to several after school events, most notably playing Santa and Mrs. Claus every year.

In addition to his volunteer work here in our school, Rick also works tirelessly with his motorcycle group running their annual Toys for Tots drive. In his free time he can be found driving across the country on his Harley, then using his real life travel experience to breathe life into his teaching.

Rick is an amazing human who never tires of giving from his heart, and for this he truly deserves to be recognized as a Teacher Who Rocks!


MICHAEL VERROCHI (V-ROCK)
Health & Physical Education teacher at
Howell High School

Howell high SchoolMr. Verrochi, better known to students and staff at Howell High School as V-Rock, has been teaching for 37 years. Multiple generations of parents and their children along with relatives have passed thru his class.

He is one of those educators who truly cares about the kids. Mr. Verocchi is respected yet approachable, with a lighthearted attitude that engages the students. Mr. Verrochi’s one rule in classroom is to respect each other. In fact, the first thing listed in his class syllabus is “To get respect you must give respect.”

Mr. Verocchi utilizes a hands’ on approach in his classes and makes it very clear to his students that the door is always open. He goes above and beyond to give his students opportunities to improve in his classes. Over the last 10 years’ Mr. Verrochi has enjoyed his role as Santa  Claus for the students in the Autism program at Howell High School. Coach Verrochi has also been a very instrumental part of the wrestling program at Howell High School over the last four decades.

Mr. Verrochi is also involved with the district’s alternative school and home instruction program, which deals with a wide variety of students who are challenged with various learning disabilities and behaviors. It is his strong belief that as an educator, if you make a difference in just one young person’s life, it has all been worth it.

After 37 years, Mr. Verocchi will be retiring. For having made a huge difference in the lives of so many kids, V-Rock, Mike Verocchi – the man, the myth, the legend – is definitely a Teacher Who Rocks!


CYNTHIA ACKERMAN
2nd Grade Teacher at
Robert L. Horbelt Elementary School

Robert L. Horbelt SchoolCynthia Ackerman is an amazing teacher who truly inspires her students. Not only does she teach the curriculum with the standard tools, she goes above and beyond, encouraging her students to express their creativity and own personal strengths.

Cindy uses so many hands-on classroom discoveries and different learning techniques in order to pique her students’ interest. These include weekly maker spacers, creative group activities such as building snow men out of newspaper and tape, building towers, bridges, or dioramas, even dressing up as Johnny Appleseed or a Mad Scientist.

Cindy often invites special guests into her room so they can share real world information, including the Mayor of Barnegat whose appearance helped Cindy teach her students about our Community. She inspires her students with real life situations and hands on activities that allow them to be totally involved in their own learning.

Not a day goes by without Cindy complimenting her students and peers. She is usually singing or humming a happy song and it just makes you want to sing along. Cindy has a tremendous energy and desire for teaching her students, and she wholeheartedly deserves to be recognized as a Teacher Who Rocks!


MARK DEPPEN
Gym Teacher and Strength and Conditioning Coach at Donovan Catholic High School

Donovan Catholic High SchoolAs the strength and conditioning coach and gym teacher at Donovan Catholic High School, Mark Deppen is a positive role model for all of the students at Donovan Catholic. Coach Depp developed the school’s award winning powerlifting team as well as its strength and conditioning program and weight room from the ground up.  He turns ordinary students into extraordinary competitors.

The only thing that Coach Depp requires is hard work and dedication. From football to volleyball, Coach Depp makes himself available daily to assist all students with individualized programs for their particular sport.  His focus is always on the students, selflessly training them and helping students become the best athletes and people they can be.

Outside of the weight room, every year at Christmas Coach Depp brings his classes to Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia to deliver toys to terminally ill children. He does what he does quietly and selflessly, never looking for anything in return. Mark Deppen is an asset to the students of Donovan Catholic and the entire community, most definitely making him a Teacher Who Rocks!


KRISTINE PEARCE
Early Childhood Education Teacher at Brick Memorial High School

Brick Memorial High School“I touch the future. I teach”, is a quote by Christa McAuliffe. Those exact words can also be used to describe Kristine Pearce, an Early Childhood Education teacher for 18 years, at Brick Memorial High School. Kristine’s role at Brick Memorial is two-fold. As a teacher, Kristine teaches high school students how to create lessons plans and how to teach and work with preschool aged children. As a program director, she runs the Rocking Horse Nursery School, a free program within the high school that is offered to Brick Township residents.

Teaching and running a nursery school takes a special person and Kristine is that person. Her dedication to her job is evident, arriving at school early and staying hours after the bell rings. Every year she spends time applying for and receiving grants, and organizing fundraisers.

Kristine’s students utilize what they learn in her class by teaching the children in the nursery school. Kristine then observes her students, discusses how the lessons went, and reviews the lesson plans for the next week. Kristine goes out of her way to set up babysitting jobs or jobs in local preschools for her students, allowing them to gain even more real-life experience.

Kristine truly cares about every student and goes above and beyond to help each one succeed. She makes many sacrifices and is constantly finding ways to improve her craft. Kristine never looks for recognition, though she deserves every bit of it. She is adored by staff members, parents, and students. Kristine Pearce truly is a Teacher Who Rocks.


JESSICA GODKIN
Teacher of Science at Marine Academy of Science and Technology

Marine Academy of Science and TechologyJessica Godkin an expert in her subject matter who really knows how to reach her students. Jessica holds herself and her students to the highest standards. She relates her lessons to their lives, like turning a physics lesson into a life lesson about distracted driving.

Jessica is a leader among her colleagues and a natural problem solver. She's the first teacher to step in when a need arises. Whether she is supplying a kid in need with materials such as poster board or helping secure a donated laptop for a disadvantaged child, Jessica makes life better for everyone at MAST.

Jessica's kindness, nurturing, and guidance have been far-reaching, but most profoundly felt by the most vulnerable students. One such student recently wrote about the impact of her time spent in Jessica's class - an experience that helped her cope with very difficult personal hardships. Without Jessica, she said, she would have felt lost. Jessica, without a doubt, changed this child’s life.

Jessica’s students know her to be deeply compassionate, understanding, and wise. She empowers them, and they leave her course at the end of the year with more knowledge, more confidence, and more poise than ever before. For being the kind of teacher we hope greets our own kids every day, Jessica Godkin is definitely a Teacher Who Rocks!


AMY GILL
Teacher of Special Education at Hazlet Middle School

Hazlet Middle SchoolAs the teacher of Hazlet Middle School’s self-contained special education class, Mrs. Gill truly embodies the mission of Hazlet Public Schools. She is caring, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and a true advocate for children. She consistently goes “above and beyond” for students, to make their middle school experience a positive one.

Mrs. Gill’s classroom is active and engaging, with students being guided in a way that meets their individual learning needs. Mrs. Gill teaches not only academic content, but social skills, organization, time management, life skills, responsibility, teamwork, friendship and community. She creates a learning environment that is both challenging and supportive, never allowing students to give less than their best, while providing all of the resources they need to reach their maximum potential.

Mrs. Gill is an advocate for her students and their biggest cheerleader! She volunteers with Special Olympics, coaching students district-wide, assisting with fundraising, and attending every event to root for her athletes. She also provides guidance to her colleagues in order to meet each student’s individual needs outside of her class.

She prepares her students for every aspect of their day, and the results can be seen in the students’ smiling confidence as they are promoted to high school having been expertly prepared by Mrs. Gill. Amy Gill is very deserving of recognition as a Teacher Who Rocks!


KIMBERLY LAYTON
Teacher of Consumer Science at Point Pleasant Borough High School

Not only has Kim Layton, nicknamed “L” by her students, brought knowledge and smiles to the hundreds who have taken Culinary Arts and World Cuisine, she has been instrumental in all aspects of the students’ journey through high school. Her innovative and unique teaching style has opened an enjoyable door for her students. During her 18 years as an educator at PPBHS, as well as her 6 years spent in other districts, Kim has been a team player, very active advisor and coach.

Kim’s classes, which always fill and have waiting lists, introduce students to the basics of cooking and challenge their skills and creativity. Kim instructs her students on much-needed hands-on cooking skills in a manner that encourages imagination. In Culinary Arts, her students learn the basics of food preparation, including food safety, the correct use of kitchen tools and the knowledge to accurately follow a basic recipe.

The Culinary Arts classes spend the month of December baking a variety of cookies which they donate to our police, fire, EMS, public works and a variety of other local agencies. The recipients love the beautifully wrapped trays and delicious cookies. What a great way to give students the opportunity to share good will.

Through the years, Kim has coached LaCrosse, been class advisor, student council advisor and chair of the Food and Fashion Club. Her walls are decorated with photos of students at proms and balls, most of which Kim has been invited by the students the chaperon. Kim is a true example of an educator who goes above and beyond. She engages her students while teaching them real life skills. Her students are hers forever, keeping in touch with her after graduation. Kim Layton is truly a Teacher Who Rocks.


JACKIE VASCIMINI
Special Education Teacher at Red Bank Middle School

Jackie Vascimini is a special education who works with students with significant behavioral and educational needs. No matter what student you put before her, Jackie treats them with respect, dignity and makes them feel like they are part of a family.

Ask any teacher about receiving a new student mid-year, and they will probably describe how challenging it is to catch that student up and get with class routines. Last year, Jackie received a 13 year old boy with Down Syndrome who came from Latin America not speaking a word of English and had the educational equivalent of a kindergartener. Today, that same boy eagerly comes to school and communicates with his peers and teachers, lighting up and grinning ear to ear when he greets Mrs. Vascimini every morning because Jackie has made him feel at home in her classroom.

Jackie takes students who normally struggle with school and academics and makes them feel like they are capable of anything. Jackie’s commitment to her students is evident in all she does. From planning engaging and fun activities to meet her students' complex educational needs, to baking whatever each student wants for his or her birthday, Jackie is willing to go the extra mile for her students.

Not only is Jackie extremely committed to her students, but she always goes above and beyond for her colleagues. She does all of this while raising three children of her own and having a husband serving in the military abroad. Her thirty years of teaching experience, dedication to classroom and community, and unstoppable positivity and energy are just some of the reasons that Jackie Viscimini is a Teacher Who Rocks.


HEATHER DECONDE
Art Teacher at Lake Riviera Middle School

Mrs. DeConde ROCKS her classes every day and not just because she plays music to stimulate creativity. Most afternoons Mrs. DeConde can be found in her classroom well beyond when the last bus has left, not just preparing for the next day or filling the kiln, but painting the backdrops for the play, decorating the vestibule to raise money for charity, creating banners for various sports and school related events, or coordinating a showcase for her teaching unit.

Mrs. DeConde is constantly chaperoning school events like trips to New York, New Jersey State STEM competitions, school dances and other evening events, as well as emceeing all the Pep rallies and even being the Wrestling team’s MOM. On her own time, she runs an after-school Art club to enhance students’ abilities.   She will tell you that the student’s love of art is her compensation.

As Unit Leader she makes sure that her fellow teachers are not only informed but each made to feel loved and appreciated. Every year she makes sure Lake Riviera’s budding artists get to leave their mark on the school before they leave in 8th grade by taking part in designing and creating a classroom mural.

Mrs. DeConde has an infectious smile and spirit, and you just can’t help but be happy when you are around her. Her energy and enthusiasm is unparalleled. Heather DeConde is truly a Teacher Who Rocks!


ANNAMARIE POPOWSKI
Mathematics Teacher at Howell High School

Mrs. AnnaMarie Popowski is a dedicated teacher who cares deeply for her student’s success. She works hard to create student-centered lessons that require the students to think and understand mathematics so that they can apply their skills to authentic situations. She uses sound motivational techniques during her lessons, combining a positive tone with high expectations of success.

Mrs. Popowski goes above and beyond for her students. She thinks specifically about each one of her students, creating lessons that are tailored to meet all of their needs. Her room is alive with teacher-made material, visual aids, and student work. As one enters her classroom, one cannot help but be impressed by the enjoyment expressed by the teacher and the eagerness of the students.

Mrs. Popowski is a school favorite, with many students asking if they can switch into Mrs. Popowski’s class because they have heard from their friends that she is “such a great teacher”. She relates to students in a manner that promotes trust and mutual respect. These are just some of the reasons that AnnaMarie Popowski is a Teacher Who Rocks!


BARBETTE LOVAS
Math Teacher at Southern Regional Middle School

Mrs. Lovas has been teaching middle school Mathematics for twenty-nine years. She is a gifted educator whose work stretches far beyond the classroom. Mrs. Lovas is unquestionably the heart and soul of the Southern Regional Middle School Math Department.

Mrs. Lovas is kind, funny, warm, approachable, and someone who knows how to explain math simply so that the children in her class “get it.” After school, her classroom is always packed as she gives extra help to any students that want to stay for additional math practice.

The district’s STYLE Program, which stands for “Student Youth Leadership Experience Program”  was created and developed by Mrs. Lovas.  For over twenty years Southern STYLE has been a hallmark activity that challenges students to learn, grow, and mentor younger students.

Mrs. Lovas is a Princeton Distinguished Teacher Award Nominee, she has served as Secretary of the Ocean County Math League for over twenty years, she helps runs the annual Ocean County Math League Contest, she assists with the St. Jude Math-a-thon, she was part of this year’s Hour of Coding that introduced students to computer coding, and she still finds time to coach the Math Team and tutor!

Often called “The Queen of Fairness,” Mrs. Lovas’ colleagues love her and her students never forget her. She is a fierce advocate for her students and fellow teachers. Barbette Lovas is definitely a TEACHER WHO ROCKS!


JAMIE MARRELLA
Applied Technology Teacher at Marlboro Middle School

Mrs. Marella has been working with students with Autism for several years. While she’s not a special education teacher, Mrs. Marella has understanding beyond her years as an educator.   She teaches Applied Technology but modifies all the work for special needs students. She has every one of them interested and involved, despite their disability.

Mrs. Marella frequently buys projects for her students to complete out of her own pocket. She is always shopping to find things they can participate in to the best of their abilities. She is able to lead them through projects and have them complete things no one would have thought possible.

Mrs. Marella engages her students in hands-on activities.  They’ve made projects out of wood, put together circuits, and even learned how to use tools to complete projects.  Their completed work can be seen around the building in wooden paper towel holders, door decorations, even the wooden planters in the school garden.

Students seek her out and love to get a high-5 when they walk past her room. Mrs. Marella has dedication, compassion, and love for all of her students. However, when she is with the students with Autism, she truly shines and shows all that she is a Teacher Who Rocks. Marlboro Middle School, and all of the students are very lucky to have her!


PATRICIA MORLEY
7th Grade Teacher at Lacey Township Middle School

lacey-middle-school7th grade Science teacher Patti Morley is the teacher who helps all students without others noticing. Mrs. Morley engages all students in every classroom activity, whether it’s simple Metric System measurements or a complete frog dissection. She makes each lesson appropriate for every level, but most importantly she makes the lesson fun. However, it’s outside the classroom that makes Mrs. Morley an extraordinary teacher.

Mrs. Morley helps to keep morale upbeat at Lacey Middle School. She participates in every Spirit day, pumping up the crowd during the pep rally. She stays after school to watch her students participate in sports and plays, she chaperones dances as well as band & chorus trips, and she even hosted the ENTIRE staff at her home for the school Holiday Gathering.

Two years ago Mrs. Morley created the Walking Club. What began as a way to help the school’s cross country athletes train in the off season has grown into an opportunity for all students and staff alike to get on their feet and be part of something special. Not only is Mrs. Morley helping athletes stay in shape, she is creating bonds between students whose paths otherwise may have never crossed.

These are just a few of the things Mrs. Morley does to model compassion to her students, making her a Teacher Who Rocks!


AMANDA MCKENNA
3rd Grade Teacher at Bayville School

bayville-elemMrs. McKenna genuinely cares about her students and wants them to succeed through whatever means necessary. She gets to know her students, integrating their interests and hobbies into her instruction which makes the kids look forward to coming to school each day.

Mrs. McKenna has been a trailblazer for the school in regards to flexible seating, a unique classroom structure that allows students to work in an environment in which they are most comfortable.  She has immersed herself in technology, putting Chromebooks in students’ hands with a fervor and fearlessness that the students and their parents embrace with open minds and excitement.

Mrs. McKenna was the architect of a monthly event called Makerspace Night where all students and families can make, create, and learn, providing hands-on experiences and fun at no cost.

Mrs. McKenna also organized Camp Invention, which gives students in the entire District and surrounding communities an opportunity to create, experiment, fail, and succeed without the boundaries of traditional textbooks or assignments.

Mrs. McKenna is the type of teacher that is not afraid to try new things, and most importantly, not afraid to fail. It’s because of this that she is so successful. She may not play guitar or be the lead singer of a band, but as far as Bayville School is concerned, she is definitely a Teacher Who Rocks!