The New Jersey School Boards Association joins parents, students and the nation in celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week, May 6 to May 10, 2024.

This year’s theme, announced by the National PTA, celebrates the fact that “Teachers Are Shining Stars!” They are the ones who make the world a brighter place, one student at a time.

Use the National PTA’s toolkit, including thank-you cards, certificates, fliers and social media graphics to show appreciation and thank the teachers in your life, and find even more ideas on the National PTA’s website.

To celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, the NJSBA would like to recognize the 2023-2024 County Teachers of the Year in New Jersey. These twenty-one teachers span across many subjects, ranging from computer science to culinary arts.

  • Atlantic: Erin Sharpe, science teacher at Cedar Creek High School in the Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School District.
  • Bergen: Gary Whitehead, English language arts teacher at Tenafly High School in the Tenafly School District.
  • Burlington: Nicola Recla Fischer, kindergarten teacher at Captain James Lawrence Elementary School in the Burlington City School District.
  • Camden: Ron Smith, environmental science educator at Haddonfield Memorial High School in the Haddonfield School District.
  • Cape May: Alison Curvan, third-grade teacher, Dennis Township Elementary School, Dennis Township School District.
  • Cumberland: Betsy Harrison, music teacher at Cumberland Regional High School in the Cumberland Regional High School District.
  • Essex: Shamshadeen Mayers, social science teacher at Bloomfield High School in the Bloomfield School District.
  • Gloucester: Phillip Neff, science teacher at Paulsboro High School in the Paulsboro School District.
  • Hudson: Jennifer Donnelly, science teacher at Jose Marti STEM Academy in the Union City School District.
  • Hunterdon: Gargi Adhikari, special education teacher at Holland Brook School in the Readington Township School District.
  • Mercer: Yulieth Le, fourth-grade teacher at Lawrence Intermediate School in the Lawrence Township Public Schools.
  • Middlesex: Julie Mercier, English language arts teacher at North Brunswick Township High School in the North Brunswick Township School District.
  • Monmouth: Joseph Nappi, social studies teacher at Monmouth Regional High School in the Monmouth Regional School District.
  • Morris: Robin Meyh, health and physical education teacher at Mendham High School in the West Morris Regional School District (recently retired).
  • Ocean: Jaclyn Potochar, English language arts and science teacher at Lake Riviera Middle School in the Brick Township School District.
  • Passaic: Amanda Rhodes, fifth-grade teacher at School 11 in the Clifton School District.
  • Salem: Andrea Wendell, science teacher at Pittsgrove Township Middle School in the Pittsgrove Township School District.
  • Somerset: Corinne Laurie, health and physical education teacher at North Plainfield Middle School in the North Plainfield School District.
  • Sussex: Tara Scrittore, kindergarten teacher at Hamburg School in the Hamburg School District.
  • Union: Kristen Hickman, STEAM teacher at Roselle Park Middle School in the Roselle Park School District.
  • Warren: Colleen Grzywacz, vocal music teacher at Hackettstown Middle School in the Hackettstown School District.

“In times of a nationwide shortage of the most crucial profession on the face of this earth, the role of great teachers becomes even more paramount,” said Dr. Timothy Purnell, executive director and CEO of the NJSBA. “They are the beacon of light guiding our children through the darkest of times, shaping the future generation with their dedication, passion and unwavering commitment. In New Jersey, we are fortunate to have an abundance of these heroes, who not only educate but instill hope, ignite curiosity and foster dreams. As we celebrate our county teachers of the year, let us also honor every teacher who stands on the front lines, tirelessly nurturing minds and hearts, for they are the true architects of a brighter tomorrow.”

Learn more about the 2023-2024 County Teachers of the Year.