We are proud to welcome the following teachers to the WJRZ Teachers Who Rock Class of 2018, presented by the New Jersey Education Association.
THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS:
Berkeley Township Elementary School
Stacy Kakos has been in education for nearly sixteen years, recently changing schools within the Berkeley District. When the opportunity arose, without any hesitation she took the path that required more work, more time, and would be considered a challenge in any professional’s career. Her willingness to try something new and to completely move from her comfort zone are signs of a dedicated professional who truly cares about all children and families.
As guidance counselor at Berkeley Township Elementary, Stacy has spearheaded many activities that focus on students in need. She makes sure that her students are able to have a traditional Thanksgiving Day meal and that no child goes without a gift during the holiday season. When she becomes aware of a family in need, Stacy takes it upon herself to get them what is needed.
In addition to her duties as counselor, Stacy also does small group instruction, and at school assemblies she will speak to the kids about social skills, internet safety, study strategies, and coping with bullying. At her previous school, one of Stacy’s cornerstone projects was building a garden the school. She is now bringing this project to Berkeley Township Elementary, getting the students involved with the creating and maintaining an organic garden.
Mrs. Kakos selflessly goes above and beyond for everyone on a daily basis and comes to work with a smile on her face. She is always providing guidance for families in crisis or in need and she is someone who never complains. Stacy Kakos is more than deserving of this recognition as she is definitely a Teacher Who Rocks!
Central Regional Middle School
Beth Moore is not only a dynamic music teacher but also a talented choral director who is solely responsible for Central Regional students singing not only at Carnegie Square, but even at the White House. For over a decade Beth has worked tirelessly at producing and directing school musicals, and she plays a crucial role in directing vocals and playing music for the high school's large spring musical.
Beth spends countless hours working hard to promote and enhance the musical and vocal talents of Central Regional students and has the admiration and respect of all of her students. She creates new, innovative ways to engage her students as she coaches high school students to student-direct the middle school musical. This not only gives them valuable experience as directors, but allows them to understand the incredible feeling of having their imaginations come to life on stage.
In addition to her duties at school, Beth frequently plays in the orchestra at various shows all across the state, and she serves as an organist for her local church on a weekly basis. There are very few educators who can match her level of dedication, commitment, respect, and accolades. For all of these reasons and more, Beth Moore is definitely a Teacher Who Rocks
Lacey Township Middle School
The US Army’s Slogan is “Army Strong” and as a former member of the Air National Guard, Jeremy Leighty brings that slogan to his teaching every day at Lacey Township Middle School.
More than just the band director and chorus teacher at LTMS, Jeremy is a mentor.
Jeremy organizes band and chorus trips to Hersey Park and Great Adventure for Battle of the Bands, he takes students to NYC for concerts in the park, and he continually encourages the them to dream big so they can take their personal crafts to the next level.
Jeremy is quick to volunteer for activities ranging from student games to the staff biggest loser competition, but it’s during school pep rallies that Jeremy really shines as his musical direction makes every rally memorable!
There’s not a sible student or staff member who doesn’t know and respect Mr. Leighty, who was named Teacher of the Year for 2017-2018, and is also in the process of becoming a proud member of the New Jersey Army National Guard.
Jeremy Leighty is a leader, a mentor, a friend, and most definitely a Teacher Who Rocks!
Hazlet Middle School
Christine Orrico is a behaviorist with the district Child Study Team in Hazlet Township, and she is an in-class support special education teacher in Hazlet Middle School's seventh grade history classes. Christine is a knowledgeable, dedicated, and tireless advocate for children. She consistently goes above and beyond for students, making their middle school experience a positive one.
Christine is the go-to person in the building whenever there is a child in need. She truly believes that every child can learn, that every child deserves a chance, and that every child is valuable and important to our school community. She works hard to create behavior plans and implement interventions that help make the classroom experience positive for all students and teachers, with Christine’s colleagues looking to her for support on a regular basis.
This year Christine was instrumental in launching a brand new elective class designed to equip students with the important life skills they’ll need to be successful with independent living and obtaining a job.
She has spent countless hours preparing for this class, and you can see the true excitement in her eyes when she speaks about it, knowing she will be able to best prepare our students for success in high school and beyond.
Ms. Orrico ensures that the learning environment for her students is both challenging and supportive. She never allows students to give less than their best, while providing them all the resources they need to reach their maximum potential. The Hazlet Middle School team could not be any prouder to nominate Christine Orrico as a Teacher Who Rocks.