VERNON n Robert Kirchmer, a science teacher at Vernon Township High School, has been selected as the district's candidate for Teacher of the Year. Kirchmer, who has taught at VTHS for 17 of his 32 years in education, is a resident of Vernon where he has been involved in the youth soccer and Little League programs for 15 years. He is also a member of the Environmental Commission, Blue and Yellow Commission and Vernon Township Municipal Alliance Committee. His commitment to serve his community earned him 1991 Vernon Township Citizen of the Year honors, and his daily commitment to serve his students has earned him this recent recognition from the school district. In his nominating letter to the superintendent, high school principal Dennis Mudrick cited Kirchmer's excellence as a teacher. "He has continuously maintained the knowledge base, the motivation, the adaptability, the flexibility and the open mind to be the truly effective master teacher, both inside the classroom and out," Mudrick wrote. One of Kirchmer's significant contributions has been to the school's alternative education program, PLUS (Positive Learning in a Unique Setting). The program, which serves the needs of students at risk of not graduating, has given Kirchmer the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of many students, both in the conventional and alternative settings. Kirchmer's spirit of commitment has extended beyond the students to his colleagues. He served for many years as the building representative, acting as aide and liaison between the teachers, secretaries, custodians and building aides and the administration. "Working with Mr. Kirchmer, I have found him to be fair, open-minded, reasonable and most willing to work things out cooperatively," said Mudrick. Kirchmer has been the recipient of the Governor's Recognition Award for Outstanding Teacher (1992), the Superintendent's Teacher's Scholar Award and was the high school's nominee for the Princeton Prize for Distinguished Secondary Teacher. He has also been honored by the Boy Scouts of America as the recipient of the William Spurgen Award for his outstanding service to youth as an extraordinary number of his scouts went on to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. Kirchmer will contend with Teachers of the Year selected by other county schools for the honor of County Teacher of the Year.