Newark Superintendent Surprises NJ’s Largest School District’s Teacher of the Year in Her Class with Flowers, Balloons and the Unique Honor

Newark Superintendent Surprises NJ’s Largest School District’s Teacher of the Year in Her Class with Flowers, Balloons and the Unique Honor

[NEWARK, NJ, June 3, 2019] The Superintendent of New Jersey’s largest school district, along with principals, students and family surprised Newark’s Teacher of the Year, Tamara Leveridge, of Ivy Hill School, in her classroom Monday morning. Along with the surprise, she received flowers and balloons.  Ms. Leveridge will be honored along with one teacher from every Newark Public School, at a breakfast, later this week. 

Superintendent Leon said, “What makes Ms. Leveridge a well-rounded educator, is that she most importantly understands and sets as a priority, what I call the most significant heartbeat of a school – and that is the child, the student.  Ms. Leveridge is an extraordinary professional, who through her compassion and love for students and teaching, is changing lives every day.  We are honored and grateful that she is a member of the extraordinary group of teachers who call the Newark Board of Education and Newark Public Schools, home.” 

Ms. Leveridge has been teaching for eleven years.  She taught multiple grades and content across the primary grades, 1st and 2nd; the intermediate grades, 4th and 5th and middle school, 6th grade. 

According to Principal of Ivy Hill School Dorrice Rayam, “What makes Ms. Leveridge an exceptional teacher is her drive for excellence.  Ms. Leveridge does not confine herself to the textbook or traditional methods of teaching, she finds creative ways to make the material accessible to their students, and keeps up-to-date with best practices.   She strives to create interactive lessons. She believes in the importance of providing rigorous and differentiated instruction.”  Ms. Rayam added that this year, Ms. Leveridge and her six graders, with the support of her colleagues, produced the Living Wax Museum for the entire school body. 

Principal Rayam continued, “Ms. Leveridge has the respect and admiration of her students. She has earned this respect and admiration by serving as a role model for her students and always has their best interest in mind. She treats students fairly, setting high expectations and is consistent with discipline. Ms. Leveridge goes beyond interacting with students on an instructional level and works to make sure their emotional needs are met, as well.”

In addition, according to the Principal, Ms. Leveridge has a positive relationship with colleagues and has earned their respect. She regularly collaborates with other staff within the school and district.  She also takes on positions of leadership within a school, such as leading professional development sessions and mentoring.  She added that Ms. Leveridge was deemed a highly effective teacher for four school years

When surprised this morning, Ms. Leveridge said, “I am surprised.  I do this for the students.  When I was in the third grade, I decided I wanted to be a teacher.  That dream never left me and became my reality.  I love my work and the opportunity to help children.” 

One of Ms. Leveridge’s students said, “She cares about us, she helps us and she is just nice.” 

To view the students wish Ms. Leveridge well, click here.