News Department

Here are New Jersey’s county teachers of the year

NEW JERSEY – The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) today announced the 21 educators who have been named New Jersey’s 2023-2024 County Teachers of the Year.

“I applaud the commitment and professionalism of each of the 21 County Teachers of the Year,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “If you want to know why New Jersey’s public schools are rated as among the best in the nation, look no further than these 21 exemplars of the kind of quality teaching that takes place in every school throughout our state.”

“Today’s event not only recognizes New Jersey’s County Teachers of the Year, but also helps elevate the teaching profession,” said Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillian, Acting Education Commissioner. “Teachers have a profound and lasting impact on the growth of their students, and each of the County Teachers of the Year will serve as mentor, role model, and as spokesperson for the teaching profession. I trust these voices encourage even more dynamic individuals to enter the teacher workforce.”

Individual schools nominate exceptional educators for County Teacher of the Year through the Governor’s Educator of the Year Program, which promotes a positive school culture by acknowledging the hard work and dedication of outstanding teachers and educational services professionals. More information is available on the Governor’s Educator of the Year Program website.

The County Teachers of the Year will network with educators throughout the state and serve as ambassadors for New Jersey’s public schools during the upcoming school year.

A panel of educators selects the New Jersey State Teacher of the Year from among the 21 County Teachers of the Year based on written applications, video submissions, and interviews with the top finalists. The New Jersey State Teacher of the Year will go on to represent New Jersey in competing for the title of National Teacher of the Year.

New Jersey’s 2023-2024 County Teachers of the Year

  • Atlantic: Erin Sharpe Science Teacher Cedar Creek High School Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School District
  • Bergen: Gary Whitehead English Language Arts Teacher Tenafly High School Tenafly School District
  • Burlington: Nicola Recla Fischer Kindergarten Teacher Captain James Lawrence Elementary School Burlington City School District
  • Camden: Ron Smith Environmental Science Educator Haddonfield Memorial High School Haddonfield School District
  • Cape May: Alison Curvan 3rd Grade Teacher* Dennis Township Elementary School Dennis Township School District County Teacher Position School School District
  • Cumberland: Betsy Harrison Music Teacher Cumberland Regional High School Cumberland Regional High School District
  • Essex: Shamshadeen Mayers Social Science Teacher Bloomfield High School Bloomfield School District
  • Gloucester: Phillip Neff Science Teacher Paulsboro High School Paulsboro School District
  • Hudson: Jennifer Donnelly Science Teacher Jose Marti STEM Academy Union City School District
  • Hunterdon: Gargi Adhikari Special Education Teacher Holland Brook School Readington Township School District
  • Mercer: Yulieth Le 4th Grade Teacher Lawrence Intermediate School Lawrence Township Public Schools
  • Middlesex: Julie Mercier English Language Arts Teacher North Brunswick Township High School North Brunswick Township School District
  • Monmouth: Joseph Nappi Social Studies Teacher Monmouth Regional High School Monmouth Regional School District
  • Morris Robin Meyh Health and Physical Education Teacher** Mendham High School West Morris Regional School District
  • Ocean: Jaclyn Potochar English Language Arts & Science Teacher Lake Riviera Middle School Brick Township School District
  • Passaic: Amanda Rhodes 5th Grade Teacher School 11 Clifton School District
    Salem: Andrea Wendell Science Teacher Pittsgrove Township Middle School Pittsgrove Township School District
  • Somerset: Corinne Laurie Health & Physical Education Teacher North Plainfield Middle School North Plainfield School District
  • Sussex: Tara Scrittore Kindergarten Teacher Hamburg School Hamburg School District
  • Union: Kristen Hickman STEAM Teacher Roselle Park Middle School Roselle Park School District
  • Warren: Colleen Grzywacz Vocal Music Teacher Hackettstown Middle School Hackettstown School District

* This was the teacher’s position at the time of the award; she currently teaches at Stone Harbor Elementary School.
** The teacher is recently retired.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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