NORTH BRUNSWICK – Parents and staff members nominated their favorite teachers in North Brunswick for the Governor’s Educator of the Year program.
Jamie Ansalone was selected Teacher of the Year for the North Brunswick Township Early Childhood Center. This year, Ansalone transitioned from full-day preschool to half-day preschool.
“Ms. Ansalone is an example of a true educator who goes above and beyond for all her students. She is knowledgeable in curriculum, preschool standards and has a deep understanding of social-emotional learning. She is goal-oriented, plays an active role in the school community, brings innovation in technology to the building, and always demonstrates the utmost respect for students, parents, colleagues and administrators. In addition to being an instructional role model, she shows patience, understanding and compassion to students and staff. Ms. Ansalone continuously contributes her time, ideas, expertise and is integral in the school’s positive climate and cultivation of relationships with the school community,” according to a statement provided by the township school district.
John Adams Elementary School’s winner, Amanda Duncan, a fourth grade teacher, “is a hard worker who not only inspires her students, but guides and helps her colleagues, too. She is always willing to lend a hand or contribute a great idea. Parents know she is easily accessible, ready to answer a question or to make a suggestion. Her students love her because she is kind and cares about each and every one of them. She is up-to-date with the latest instructional strategies and technologies, which helps her instruct and encourage all students. She is creative and fun and always has a smile on her face,” according to the statement.
Judd Elementary School’s inclusion teacher and resource room teacher, Andrea Hilsen, was chosen for the award.
“Whatever role she is in, Mrs. Hilsen has always been a consummate professional who goes above and beyond for each and every student she works with. Her main goal is to ensure the academic, social and emotional growth of her students,” according to the statement.
Livingston Park Elementary School recognized technology teacher Kim George.
“For over 20 years, Mrs. George has dedicated herself to being an outstanding educator. Mrs. George … is lauded for her kind, humble and patient demeanor. She has strong, positive relationships with our students, and she inspires them daily. Mrs. George, in addition to helping our students, always finds time to help our staff as well. She organizes events for students and families and encourages them to explore coding and other STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] activities. She is always the first to volunteer, lend a friendly smile or help in any way she can,” according to the statement.
Lynn McMillan, who was nominated by the Parsons Elementary School staff, serves as the technology teacher/tech ambassador. She is also the producer of the daily Parsons Newscast.
“Lynn instills an independence and self worth in each of her students. Lynn is always willing to support her colleagues and lend a helping hand. She was instrumental in the success of our Hour of Code Family event and she developed our school website to provide an avenue for communication with parents. She is equally passionate about teaching and technology. Ms. McMillan will continue to surprise us with her imagination and innovation for bringing technology to the forefront of our school. Her passion and enthusiasm are contagious,” according to the statement.
Linwood Middle School’s Vesta Mahadik was selected “based on her accomplishments at Linwood and her efforts to assist in the growth of the entire North Brunswick community. Ms. Mahadik has a commitment and dedication to educating young minds to reach their fullest potential. She empowers our students to reach for the stars,” according to the statement.
One staff member nominating Cathy McCarthy of North Brunswick Township High School wrote she “is the kind of English teacher everyone inspires to be. She is dedicated to the whole student and not just their grades. Students feel safe with her, which makes it easy for them to relax and learn. Her students are always 100 percent ready for the next chapter in their lives because of her,” according to the statement.