JFK Teacher of the Year and Educational Services Professional are honored at ceremony

JFK Teacher of the Year and Educational Services Professional are honored at ceremony

A celebration of the commitments and dedication of staff members in the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District was presented on Tuesday, May 4.

The Somerville Elks Lodge served as the venue for the school district’s annual—and highly acclaimed—Staff Recognition Reception.

The event was held to honor the 2023-2024 Bridgewater-Raritan Teacher of the Year and the Educational Services Professionals for all 11 schools in the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District.

A total of 22 staff members–two from each school–were honored before an estimated crowd of 175, which included administrators, board of education members, staff, teachers, and families of the honorees.

The reception was sponsored by the Bridgewater-Raritan Education Association (BREA), while the ceremony was coordinated by the energetic and valuable Suzanne Klos, the Executive Secretary to the Superintendent.

She was assisted in preparing for this elite ceremony by Terry Brown and Kaitlyn McGhee, who are Administrative Assistants in the Office of the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.

Laura Kress, the BREA President, opened the ceremony with her remarks that cited the faithfulness and devotion that are exhibited by the 22 honorees as well as the entire school district.

Superintendent Bob Beers followed Ms. Kress and touched on how “Bridgewater-Raritan is unique in that we are able to hold an event such as this.”

He applauded the honorees and the school district for “a high level of commitment to excel’ and described the teaching profession as a calling rather than a job.

Each school principal was given the opportunity to speak and introduce their two distinguished staff members–Teacher of the Year and Educational Services Professional of the Year.

Each honoree received a commemorative gift that was handed out by the Board of Education Vice President, Jennifer Loughran, and a Board of Education member, Stacey Friedlander.

Here is a summary for each JFK honoree presented by Principal Aldo Russo.

Angela Randazzo
John F. Kennedy Primary School
Third Grade Teacher

The John F. Kennedy Primary School community is proud to announce Mrs. Angela
Randazzo as the Teacher of the Year recipient. Mrs. Randazzo has been teaching for
18 years. Her career began in the New York City Public School system for two years.
She has been teaching in the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District for the last
16 years.
Since then, she has strived to meet the diverse needs of students in her class and build
strong relationships with families in the school community. Mrs. Randazzo has always
wanted to be a teacher and states, “My students make me smile every day.”
She has served as both a General Education and Special Education teacher and has
taught a variety of grade levels but has spent the past 12 years teaching third grade. Mrs.
Randazzo prides herself in creating a nurturing environment where all students feel
comfortable and receptive to learning.
She encourages students to discover and embrace their individual learning styles and
scaffolds instruction to ensure their success. Mrs. Randazzo also embodies a natural
zeal for learning and seeks to instill the same passion in her students.
Throughout her career, Mrs. Randazzo has worked collaboratively with colleagues and
administrators in an effort to improve student learning and enhance school culture. She
regularly attends school-sponsored events and also volunteers in the Bridgewater-
Raritan community. In recent years, Mrs. Randazzo has served as a mentor to student
teachers entering the profession. Additionally, Mrs. Randazzo actively seeks
opportunities to expand her knowledge of curriculum and teaching techniques in order
to benefit her students.
Congratulations to Mrs. Angela Randazzo!

Holly Gibson
John F. Kennedy Primary School
Intervention Specialist
Ms. Holly Gibson has been selected as the Educational Services Professional of the
Year for John F. Kennedy Primary School. Ms. Gibson has been teaching for fifteen
years, with the last eleven in the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District. She
began her career as a first-grade teacher. After eight years in the classroom, she took
time to raise her children and returned as an Intervention Specialist. Ms. Gibson loves
what she does. She finds joy in working with children and considers school her “happy
place.”
Ms. Gibson finds working with struggling learners very rewarding. Ms. Gibson loves
having the opportunity to provide personalized support to unlock the potential of all
her students. Creating a home-school connection is very important for Ms. Gibson.
Initiating Family Literacy Night was a meaningful endeavor. Realizing that many of her
students were not getting the needed support at home, she spearheaded Literacy Night
to educate the parents with simple but essential information on how to assist their
beginning readers. In addition to valuable information, the parents/guardians were
given time to play literacy games with their children. Leaving the event with games, free
books, and a healthy snack created a memorable evening.
Writing a grant for a Sensory Pathway was another exciting and valuable addition to
JFK courtesy of Ms. Gibson.
Congratulations to Ms. Holly Gibson!

Listed below are the 22 staff members who were honored.
Teacher of the Year Award - 2023-2024
 
Alexandra Pelligrino, Adamsville, Special Education Teacher
Susan Winters, Bradley Gardens, Grade 2 Teacher
Kimberly Kaminsky, Crim, Special Education Teacher
Paige Hering-Boehme, Hamilton, Grade 1 Teacher
Angela Randazzo, John F. Kennedy, Grade 3 Teacher
Bryan Smith, Milltown, Physical Education Teacher
Megan Rutkowski, Van Holten, Grade 1 Teacher
Jaclynn Hurley, Eisenhower, Grade 5 Teacher
Taryn Prince, Hillside, Grade 6 Special Education Teacher
Ashlen Udell, Middle School, Teacher of Music
Hsiao-yu Lin (Sherry) Griggs, High School, Teacher of Music
  
Educational Services Professional Award - 2023-2024

Deborah Calabrese, Adamsville, Speech Language Specialist
Puja Arora, Bradley Gardens, School Counselor
Monica Hammond, Crim, Elementary Teaching Specialist
Kathleen Hughes, Hamilton, School Nurse
Holly Gibson, John F. Kennedy, Intervention Specialist
Stephanie Campisi, Milltown, School Counselor
Sarojini Panwar, Van Holten, Instructional Assistant
Tara Rutkowski, Eisenhower, Instructional Assistant
Maria Giardella, Hillside, Learning Disabilities Teaching Consultant
Rosalia Finazzo, Middle School, Instructional Assistant
Lauren Amisial, High School, Student Assistance Counselor
 
 Linked below is the program that features the background of each of the 22 honorees.

 

 

BRRSD 2024 Staff Recognition Reception Program