New Jersey’s Teacher of the Year for 2008 is a woman who was inspired to enter the profession after her oldest son entered kindergarten.
Jeanne M. Muzi had worked in graphic design after college, but she was inspired by the care and professionalism of the teachers at her son’s school, the Ben Franklin School in Lawrence Township, Mercer County. By the time her son was in intermediate school, Muzi was enrolled in a graduate-level teacher certification program at Rider University.
And in 2002 she came full circle, being hired as a first-grade teacher at the very school that inspired her to enter the profession.
Over the years, Muzi has served in activities such as the teacher mentoring program, parent-teacher organization, and gifted-and-talented task force.
This month she was selected among 21 county-level teachers of the year, who are chosen by county executive school superintendents. As New Jersey’s Teacher of the Year, she will take part in a sabbatical from January to June 2009, sponsored by Educational Training Service. She is now entered into the competition for the National Teacher of the Year, which is decided by the Council of Chief State School Officers.
The Opening General Session of Workshop 2008—the state’s premiere training conference for school officials, held from Oct. 28-30 in Atlantic City—will feature Muzi, as well as the school board member, superintendent and school business administrator of the year.