Newark Public Schools Recognizes Mount Vernon School Teacher Whitney Farrand as Newark Teacher of the Year

Farrand comes from family of Newark educators

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Superintendent Chris Cerf honors Whitney Farrand with “Newark Teacher of the Year” award

[Newark, NJ – May 05, 2016] – Newark Public Schools (NPS) honored Whitney Farrand as “Newark Teacher of the Year” today at Mount Vernon School, with a surprise visit from NPS Superintendent Christopher D. Cerf and other district leaders who presented her with an award for her exceptional teaching abilities and the impact she has had on her students. Farrand was chosen from a pool of approximately 30 finalists who were each nominated by their school principal.

“I could not be happier to present this award to Ms. Farrand,” said Superintendent Cerf. “She exemplifies the qualities of a great educator. In addition to her skill as a classroom teacher and the great results she achieves with her students, she spends countless hours after school and on weekends to mentor them in her role as their debate coach; truly embodying what Newark educators are all about.”

Ms. Farrand currently teaches eighth grade mathematics. In the classroom, she focuses on creating a positive learning environment that fosters collaboration, conversation and individualized learning. This year, her students significantly outperformed state and district averages. Additionally, she dedicates her own time after school each week to ensure her students are able to participate in extra-curricular activities like the Mount Vernon Debate Team, which is ranked as one of the top teams in all of Newark Public Schools as a result of her leadership.

“We are so grateful to have Ms. Farrand as a leader on our teaching staff at Mount Vernon,” said Bertha Dyer, Principal of Mount Vernon School. “She has done a tremendous job with her students over the years and is a very important member of our school community. Her tireless dedication to the students and families we serve speaks volumes about the high-quality educator that she is.”

Ms. Farrand began teaching at Mount Vernon nine years ago and did so as a part of a family tradition. Her mother, Vernell Farrand, worked as a teacher, staff developer and school administrator at NPS, and her father, Brent Farrand, was also a mathematics resource teacher and coordinator at NPS. In addition, Brent Farrand founded the Jersey Urban Debate League, currently known as the Newark Debate Academy, where Ms. Farrand works as a high school coordinator outside of her work at Mount Vernon School.

District officials interrupt class to surprise celebrated Newark teacher with award
During Teacher Appreciation Week, Fios 1 News interviewed Mount Vernon Elementary School teacher Whitney Farrand after she received a surprise visit from district officials to give her the Newark Teacher of the Year Award.

Farrand, an eighth grade math teacher who comes from a family of educators, was in the middle of teaching a lesson when Superintendent Chris Cerf and district officials stopped by her classroom to hand deliver the award – as well as a bouquet of flowers.

Farrand was chosen from a pool of approximately 30 finalists who were each nominated by their school principal.

Watch Farrand’s genuine reaction and interview here.