The New Jersey School Boards Association joins parents, students and the nation in celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week, May 8 to May 12, 2023.
This year’s theme, announced by the National PTA, celebrates how Teachers Drive the Future. Teachers are not just educators – they are the ones who inspire and guide children to become future leaders and expand their horizons beyond academics. Teachers play a critical role in driving the success of all children, empowering them to pursue their dreams and make a positive difference in the world.
To celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, the NJSBA would like to recognize the 2022-2023 County Teachers of the Year in New Jersey. These twenty-one teachers span across many subjects, ranging from computer science to culinary arts.
- Atlantic: Brenna Baker, biology teacher, Absegami High School, Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School District.
- Bergen: Gina DiMaggio, English teacher, Lyndhurst High School, Lyndhurst School District.
- Burlington: Sarah Sherman, English teacher, Rancocas Valley Regional High School, Rancocas Valley Regional High School District.
- Camden: Michael Weppler, mathematics teacher, Winslow Township Middle School, Winslow Township School District.
- Cape May: Stephen Serano, culinary arts teacher, Wildwood High School, Wildwood School District.
- Cumberland: Jennifer Carbone, science teacher, ExCEL Program, Bridgeton Public School District.
- Essex: Kristen Dunleavy, special education teacher, Redwood Elementary School, West Orange School District.
- Gloucester: Lisa Dolby, English teacher and teacher of students with disabilities, Delsea Regional High School, Delsea Regional School District.
- Hudson: Ariel Babcock, social studies teacher and media specialist, Weehawken High School, Weehawken Township School District.
- Hunterdon: Brian Smith, English teacher, Delaware Valley Regional High School, Delaware Valley Regional School District.
- Mercer: Leigh Cline, second grade teacher, Parkway Elementary School, Ewing Township School District.
- Middlesex: Leana Malinowsky, second grade teacher, Private Nicholas Minue School, Carteret School District.
- Monmouth: Kimberly Grigoli, kindergarten teacher, Spring Lake Heights Elementary School, Spring Lake Heights School District.
- Morris: Andrea Ritacco, business education teacher, Whippany Park High School, Hanover Park Regional High School District.
- Ocean: Christine Girtain, science teacher and director of authentic science research, Toms River High School North and South, Toms River Regional School District. (Girtain was ultimately honored as the Teacher of the Year for all of New Jersey.)
- Passaic: Emily Blumberg, science teacher, Passaic Preparatory Academy, Passaic School District.
- Salem: Erika Knorr, kindergarten teacher, Elmer Elementary School, Pittsgrove Township School District.
- Somerset: Ian Evans, English language arts teacher, Hillsborough Middle School, Hillsborough Township School District.
- Sussex: Christine O’Brien-Mase, art and photography teacher, Sparta High School, Sparta School District.
- Union: Candice Testa, first grade teacher, William J. McGinn Elementary School, Scotch Plains-Fanwood School District.
- Warren: Daryl Detrick, computer science teacher, Warren Hills Regional High School, Warren Hills Regional School District.
“Teaching is the noblest profession, and the importance and influence of great teachers cannot be underestimated,” said Dr. Timothy Purnell, executive director and CEO of the NJSBA. “Teachers are a beacon of hope in schools throughout New Jersey and across the nation. They are not only a source of inspiration for the students they teach but for everyone. Their hard work and commitment to education is something to be celebrated. Thank you to our county teachers of the year for representing the very best in education!”
Learn more about the 2022-2023 County Teachers of the Year here.