June 17, 2014 (Newark) – Newark Public Schools (NPS) announced today the selection of Jennifer Cohan, a third grade teacher at Camden Street Elementary School, as the 2013-2014 District Teacher of the Year. At a ceremony this morning, Superintendent Cami Anderson and School Advisory Board Chair Rashon Hasan honored Cohan, the Teacher of the Year finalists and the winners of the Governor’s Recognition Award Program.Serving as a teacher and instructional leader in Newark Public Schools since 2006, Ms. Cohan’s work – particularly in literacy – has resulted in great gains for all of her students, “Born to be a teacher,” Ms. Cohan seeks to improve her craft each and every day so, just like her students, she does not stagnate in her growth. She also dedicates countless hours as a lead teacher in Camden Street’s after school program, teaching culinary arts as an enrichment program.
“The teachers honored today represent some of the best of Newark Public Schools,” Superintendent Cami Anderson said. “Their work, along with their administrators who support what they do every day, not only improves our students’ lives today, but also opens the door for more opportunities for success in college and career tomorrow.”
The Teacher of the Year program recognizes and honors the contributions of outstanding classroom teacher leaders who possess a special talent for inspiring a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities. A Selection Committee – comprised of a teacher, a parent, and two district administrators – picked the Teacher of the Year on the following attributes, aligned to the district’s Framework for Effective Teaching:
“Jennifer’s commitment to our school, her belief that all students can be successful and attend college, and her passion for teaching are all reasons why she embodies the District Teacher of the Year award,” said Camden Street Principal Sam Garrison.Cohan was selected among six finalists who were named Teacher of the Year for their respective schools.
Theresa Collins – Early Childhood South:
“Ms. Collins has dedicated her career as an educator to the young children of Newark and prides herself on being a lifelong learner,” said Vice Principal Jeanne Ramirez. “Her teaching style allows children to progress at independent rates while still feeling part of the whole group. It is evident that Ms. Collins provides the youngest learners with a challenging, engaging, supportive, and highly interactive environment.”
Catherine Dias – Lafayette Street:
“Ms. Dias has something that great teachers possess—the ability to make students feel good about themselves,” remarked Principal Maria Merlo. “I am highly impressed with creativity and enthusiasm that she brings to her classroom and to building a relationship with the students’ parents.”
James Intrabartolo – Oliver Street:
“Mr. Intrabartolo has a team approach and always puts his students and their education first,” Principal Douglas Petty said.
Tracey Roudez – Madison Elementary:
“Ms. Roudez brings great enthusiasm and dedication to her profession, motivating her students to become critical readers and life-long learners,” Principal Armando Cepero said.
Doretta Sockwell – Science Park High School:
“Ms. Sockwell is a life changer and an igniter of many students’ fighting torch,” said Vice Principal Kena Culver. “With her growth-oriented mindset, she pushes all she encounters out of their comfortable and fixed positions.”
Maria Iatesta – Ridge Street School:
“With her goals in mind, Ms. Iatesta’s demeanor reflects an educator who is dedicated to establishing an inquiry-based classroom conducive to teaching all students,” Vice Principal Caren Verde said. “Indeed, Maria’s belief system reflects the fact that it is her responsibility to help students know their potential.”
Governor’s Teacher Recognition Award recipients, like the School Teacher of the Year Award recipients, stand out as top teachers in their schools based on instructional excellence and leadership. As the committee reviewed all applications, these teachers were nominated for and won the Governor’s Recognition Award.
Christa Cordes – East Side High School:
“Ms. Cordes is never satisfied with the status quo, is relentless in improving her craft as an educator, and strives to make learning relevant and provocative for her students,” Principal Mario Santos said.
Krishna Dalal – BRICK Avon Academy:
“Mrs. Dalal’s high-quality instruction for her students has resulted in significant gains in reading and math,” said Vice Principal Christopher Perpich. “Additionally, her work with her colleagues to shift teacher perspective has resulted in more effective instruction for students across our school.”
Lenore Furman – Abington Avenue School:
“With over 30 years serving the Newark Public Schools, Ms. Furman has had many honors, served generations of students, and guided untold numbers of novice and veteran educators toward better practices,” Vice Principal Sandra Heintz said.
Patricia Jeffers – Belmont Runyon:
“Ms. Jeffers demonstrates every day, the belief that ‘if we give the students high quality instruction, they WILL learn,’” Principal Dorothy Handfield said.
Karla Rahner – Miller Street:
“Ms. Rahner is an excellent, dedicated teacher who instructs her students with the utmost professionalism, passion and creativity, and volunteers her time for the Miller Street community,” Vice Principal Shawn Oxendine-Walter said.