The Wall Township School District has announced this year’s Teacher/Educational Services Professional of the Year for each of the district’s seven schools.
Each teacher or employee will be recognized in a county-wide ceremony in late May. They also will be recognized at the June Board of Education meeting, said Superintendent Daniel Simon.
Below are this year’s winners, along with comments from each of the school principals on why each was chosen.
Primary School: Janet Hankins
“For over 30 years, Mrs. Hankins has served the students of our district, and her expertise lies in teaching our youngest learners. She received multiple nominations for this distinction from her colleagues at Primary, and they were all consistent in their opinion that she demonstrates the finest qualities of a teacher. Her lessons are targeted to the learning style and needs of each individual child. She is infinitely patient, and works to see things from a child's perspective. Her classroom is engaging, allows for self-discovery, is rich in language experiences, and is fun. ( In fact, below Mrs. Hankins was caught giving her students rides on her "sled" during the unit on Winter.) We are proud to have Janet Hankins as a colleague, and congratulate her on this well-deserved honor,” Carol Duffy, Primary School principal and director of Special Services.
Allenwood School: Heather Baffige
“We are proud to announce Mrs. Heather Baffige, as our Allenwood Elementary School's 2012-2013 "Teacher of the Year." She is in her tenth year as a Special Education Self-Contained Teacher at the Allenwood School. Mrs. Baffige was nominated by multiple staff members and was a unanimous selection for this honor. She was recognized for her overall contributions to her profession, but most specifically, for her commitment to help children with Autism. Mrs. Baffige seeks out challenges and takes pride in helping her students to grow academically, socially and emotionally. She has earned the respect of parents and staff through her passion to help all children. On behalf of the Allenwood School community, we congratulate Mrs. Baffige on this well deserved honor,” William Carson, Allenwood School principal.
Central School: Janine Riccelli
“This year’s award goes to a Miss Janine Riccelli, kindergarten teacher at Central School. Janine is a dedicated, passionate, caring and kind person. She makes the initial school experience for so many an incredibly positive one. Miss Riccelli is most adept at working with the many challenges that come with this first and profoundly important year in school. Her students love her and parents are awed by her ability to educate and stimulate their children. Miss Riccelli has served in roles as a coach, mentor, and is a member of numerous school committees. She is well respected by the administration, staff, students and community as a whole. On behalf of the Central Elementary School Staff, we are proud to name Miss Janine Riccelli to represent Central School as our Teacher of the Year,” Greg Storts, Central School principal.
Old Mill School: Michelle McRoberts
“As a teacher in the district for over twelve years, she has touched the lives of many students. Her rapport with the students, staff and community members embodies what one would expect from a Teacher of the Year. In addition to being great for students, Mrs. McRoberts is well respected for her instructional practices, has served on a wide variety of both school and district level committees, attends regular after school student events and extends a helping hand to those who are ever in need. Congratulations and thank you to Mrs. McRoberts for her dedication and contributions to educating our most valued treasure, our students,” Eric Laughlin, Old Mill School principal.
West Belmar School: Sally Foley
“Passionate, enthusiastic, hard-working and dedicated are words that are used when you describe West Belmar School’s Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Sally Foley. Mrs. Foley is the consummate professional who brings energy into her classroom every day. As a first grade teacher, she helps build a strong educational foundation for her students that lay the groundwork for their future success! Congratulations, Mrs. Foley!” Anthony Abeal, West Belmar School principal.
Intermediate School: Thomas Maliff
“Wall Intermediate school is honored to announce that Mr. Thomas Maliff has been selected as our Teacher of the Year. Mr. Maliff has been a member of the Wall Intermediate School staff for the past fourteen years as a teacher of 8th grade Social Studies. He is a dedicated individual who always has the best interest and success of his students as his top priority. He is known by all as a kind and compassionate individual who is always looking for ways to help others. He is not only admired by our students, he is well respected by his colleagues for his outstanding professionalism both inside and outside of the classroom. We congratulate and thank Mr. Maliff for his dedication and the many contributions he has made to making Wall intermediate School a wonderful place to work and to learn,” Gary Azzolini, Intermediate School principal.
Wall High School: Mike Hackett
“Each year, Wall High School has the honor of selecting a Teacher or Educational Service Professional to represent Wall High School. This year’s award goes to a dedicated, passionate, caring and kind person. This person has developed an outstanding rapport with all students – particularly the student athlete – both past and present. He has served in roles as a coach, mentor, member of numerous school committees, chaperone, friend, and student advocate, to name a few. He helps shape confidence and character in our students through knowledge, compassion and understanding. As a colleague, he is supportive, professional, positive, and proactive. He respected by the administration, staff, students and community as a whole. On behalf of the Wall High School Staff, we are proud to name Mr. Mike Hackett to represent Wall High School as our Educational Services Professional of the year,” Rosealeen Sirchio, Wall High School principal.