West Milford's top teachers honored by district

| 12 Apr 2012 | 07:30

WEST MILFORD — Each year, the district's finest teachers are acknowledged. This year, eight exceptional teachers were chosen, one from each school, and named their school's "Teacher of the Year." What follows are comments from each principal regarding their building "Teacher of the Year."

Jaclyn Becker- Apshawa Elementary School Teacher of the Year

Apshawa School’s Teacher of the Year is fourth grade teacher, Jaclyn Becker. She began her career in education in West Milford just four years ago, making her one of the youngest recipients of this high honor. Becker’s contagious enthusiasm for teaching and learning make her a popular educator among students and colleagues alike. She credits her success to the supportive faculty and staff that support her efforts every day, but her talent and dedication to her students are really what make her such an effective teacher. “Teaching is a gift. It has made me a more confident person, introduced me to spectacular people, and showed me that the best moments in life are the little ones with my students,” says Becker. – Jeanne Apryasz, Ed.D., Principal, Apshawa School

Krista Rieder Provost- Macopin Middle School

Krista Rieder Provost is the type of teacher that every principal is proud to have as a part of their staff. As an eighth grade social studies teacher, she brings history alive for her students. She challenges them with her student-centered activities which bring them back to the early days of our government. Each day, she is coming up with new lessons which are well thought out and technology based. There are learning opportunities for every child in her classroom.

Mrs. Provost is an intricate part of our Macopin staff, being involved in every aspect of the program. She believes that by engaging students in and out of the classroom, they will rise to their highest potential. She is the co-founder of our Make a Change Club (MACC) which encourages our students to stand up for what they believe in appropriate ways. She has organized educational field trips to give them the opportunity to experience their government in action. Mrs. Provost takes every opportunity to share her ideas with fellow colleagues. She has been a vital part of our school-based professional development by sharing her knowledge of technology with other staff members on our professional days. Mrs. Provost is only in her fourth year of teaching. With the enthusiasm that she has, I can only imagine great things for future students. The Macopin Family congratulates Krista Rieder Provost.- Mary Reinhold, Principal, Macopin Middle School

Tricia Kane – Maple Road Elementary School

There are a number of reasons for Miss Tricia Kane’s selection as Maple Road School Teacher of the Year. Miss Kane embodies the spirit of Maple Road through professional collaboration and dedication to her students. She is a high level instructor who always looks for strategies to improve student learning. Miss Kane also appreciates the whole child: academically, socially, and emotionally. She embraces student individuality and creates a classroom community that foster mutual respect and acceptance. Miss Kane participates in a full range of school and district initiatives, from our school drama club to the district technology committee. She is fully committed to the success of her students, Maple Road School, and the entire West Milford Township Public School District. – Bill Kane, Principal, Maple Road School

Mary Duffy - Marshall Hill Elementary School; West Milford School District Teacher of the Year

Mary Duffy is a fifth grade teacher at Marshall Hill Elementary School. She has been recently named “Teacher of the Year" for the West Milford School District. She will be competing for the county Teacher of the Year program for Passaic County. Marshall Hill School has many wonderful teachers, and Mary has distinguished herself as the best among the best. Everyone at Marshall Hill is so proud and excited about Mary's accomplishments. Congratulations on a job well done.- Mike Mc Cormick, Principal, Marshall Hill School

Kathy Marxen - Paradise Knoll Elementary School

Mrs. Marxen is a devoted teacher who has been an active member of the PK family for 16 years. She has taught a variety of grade levels including third, fourth and sixth grades. Mrs. Marxen runs an after school program called “Build Your Skills.” This club, sponsored by the PK PTA, offers additional support to sixth grade students who struggled to achieve proficiency on the NJASK. Mrs. Marxen has also sponsored events such as the 6th Grade Science Night, where students and their families return to PK in the evening to showcase their talent as scientists. She received the New Jersey Governor's Award in 2002 and was nominated for the Disney Teacher of the Year Award that same year. Mrs. Marxen is a delight to work with as her energetic and upbeat personality permeates all that she does. She is a highly collaborative and creative teacher who prides herself on helping every child achieve their highest potential. Mrs. Marxen is a dynamic individual and her contributions to the Paradise Knoll community are vast. We are very lucky to have such a caring and dedicated teacher at Paradise Knoll Elementary School. - Jennifer Cenatiempo, Principal, Paradise Knoll Elementary School

Jane Merritt – Upper Greenwood Lake Elementary School

"Learning should be a rewarding experience that leads students to higher levels of achievement. A student working with materials that are chosen "just for them" has a far greater ability to immerse that student in learning." ~ Jane Merritt

Mrs. Merritt has lived by her words. She engages students at a personal level while slowly and methodically raising the expectations she has for them; as well as the expectations they have for themselves. Jane Merritt has passionately embraced the teaching of literacy, as she has reinvented herself as a teacher of reading. She demonstrates the poise, elegance, and charm of a seasoned professional, while maintaining an energy level commensurate with that of the fourth graders under her supervision. As a colleague, she's an encouraging teammate, eager to put in the kinds of hours and effort necessary to be a successful 21st century teacher. She has led various professional development workshops for staff and has volunteered for many educational committees within the school. She would describe herself as a life-long learner and fosters this same love of learning for the students in her class.- Dan Novak, Principal, Upper Greenwood Lake School

Christine Errichiello - Westbrook Elementary School

Christine Errichiello, a graduate of William Paterson University, has taught fifth and sixth grade at Westbrook School for 10 years. Mrs. Errichiello was nominated by her peers for the honor of Westbrook School Teacher of the Year because of her outstanding ability to help students make connections and impact real learning. Mrs. Errichiello likes to teach science to the older elementary students because her student-centered approach lends itself to experiments and discovery. Mrs. Errichiello has an excellent relationship with her students and her colleagues. She has a positive attitude and cooperative nature. She volunteers for extra-curricular activities, such as Student Council Advisor, and presently is serving on a district committee involved in selecting a new student information system. Mrs. Errichiello also wrote and was awarded a grant from the West Milford Education Foundation which further supported a classroom science project. She is included in Who's Who Among America’s Teachers. Mrs. Errichiello is a dedicated family member who balances all of her responsibilities beautifully. Congratulations to Mrs. Errichiello for this well deserved recognition. - Dr. Joan Oberer, Principal, Westbrook School

Michael Padilla – West Milford High School

The Highlander community is so very pleased to recognize Mr. Michael Padilla as WMHS Teacher of the Year. Mr. Padilla has been teaching at our high school since 2006. He leads our award-winning Communication Arts program, building students' media literacy and production skills, primarily in the realm of video. To supplement my own words, I would like to use the words of a student and of Mr. Padilla himself. One of our students said this about Mr. Padilla's teaching, "Every time I leave his class, it feels like the day before my birthday. That's how excited I am to come back." For his part, Mr. Padilla feels that his "greatest accomplishments as a teacher are demonstrated by my students and what they do with the knowledge gained in the classroom." Mr. Padilla motivates and guides each of his students as they create multimedia products worthy of public display. Whether teaching in the classroom, filming an event at our school or another, or contributing to our plans to strengthen the use of educational technology, Michael Padilla is one of our school district's greatest resources. I am proud to call Mr. Padilla my colleague, and West Milford is fortunate to have him teaching our students. – Paul Gorski, Principal, West Milford High School