VERNON-Robert Kirchmer was to be honored at tonight's board of education meeting as Vernon Township Schools' Teacher of the Year. During the past 17 years of his thirty-two years in education, Kirchmer has been a science teacher at the high school. He has taught honors biology, college prep physics, and special services applied science, physical, and earth science. In addition, Kirchmer has been a fundamental reason for the success of Project PLUS (Positive Learning in a Unique Setting). Not only does he teach science within the Project PLUS program, he is always available to monitor, tutor, and mentor students. According to Dennis Mudrick, principal of the high school, "Bob has been a significant positive influence in the lives of a good number of these students, who otherwise might not have graduated from high school. His value in this regard is immeasurable." Kirchmer is well respected by his colleagues and peers. He has been a building representative for the Vernon Township Education Association, served on the Superintendent's Faculty Senate, received the Governor's Recognition Award for Outstanding Teaching and was a Superintendent's Teacher Scholar. Kirchmer was also nominated for the Princeton Prize for Distinguished Secondary Teaching. Daniel Osenni, the science department chairperson, said, "Mr. Kirchmer will always go the extra mile, whether working with students or members of our staff. His positive outlook is contagious and infects all who he comes in contact with." Not only has Kirchmer been an outstanding, caring teacher, he was also the high school's interscholastic ski coach. He coached the boys' team for fifteen years and the girls' team for twelve year. Comments made about Kirchmer from his students follow a theme of a person dedicated to the profession of teaching and who is dedicated to his students. He is "always there for his students, both in and out of school," said one. "His classroom is filled with enthusiasm and energy," said another. "He does everything in his power to help and make sure his students succeed," added a third. Vernon has also benefited from Kirchmer's dedication to young people and service to his community. For fifteen years he was involved in the township's soccer and Little League programs. He has also been a member of the Environmental Commission, the Blue and Yellow Commission, and the Vernon Township Municipal Alliance Committee. In 1991, he was named the Vernon Township Citizen of the Year. As a scoutmaster, Kirchmer has encouraged a large percentage of his scouts to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. In 1989, he received the William Spurgen Award from the Boy Scouts for his outstanding service. Kirchmer is also very involved in his church and serves as a eucharistic minister.