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Sayreville honors its top educators

SAYREVILLE – With the end of the 2017-18 school year fast approaching, the Governor’s Educators of the Year in the Sayreville School District have been named for 2017-18.

The educators were recognized for their accomplishments by district administrators and Board of Education members at a board meeting on May 15.

At Emma Arleth Elementary School, the Governor’s Educator of the Year is Michael Zorner, who teaches music.

“He’s really taken the [music] program to the next level,” Principal Robert Preston said. “He has a chorus program in the morning with over 90 students and he is now on his world tour. We go to about five different locations singing for senior citizens, and he’s going to Somerset Patriots stadium and a couple other venues on his world tour. But he does a fantastic job with the music program, both with the chorus and some instrumentals.”

At Dwight D. Eisenhower Elementary School, the Governor’s Educator of the Year is Cynthia Good, who teaches first grade.

“Mrs. Good is not only a fantastic teacher, but she’s an amazing colleague as well,” Principal Scott Nurnberger said. “She collaborates with all of our staff, shares ideas, is the first person to offer help. She really is a huge part of our family, so we’re really lucky to have her. If you walk by her classroom, all of her kids are engaged in meaningful learning, but what impresses me most about Mrs. Good is that they all have a smile on their face every day.

At Harry S. Truman Elementary School, the Governor’s Educator of the Year is Irene Werner, who teaches second grade.

“In the Truman tradition, she is certainly the quintessential educator,” Principal Timothy Byrne said. “We have a lot of enthusiasm at Truman and Irene is a member of our [School Improvement Panel] committee. So when we sit and we talk about different things that are involving Truman, I have to really verbally restrain Irene from just saying ‘yes’ to all the different things we want to do because she wants to take them all on. That symbolizes her dedication to Truman. We have children from her class here tonight because that’s the kind of impact she makes upon her children.

“We are deeply blessed with so many wonderful people at Truman and Irene has the opportunity tonight to represent them all for our distinct honor,” he said. “You’re just so compassionate, so caring, so full of energy and life, so interested in the children, so concerned about their well-being, whether it be in terms of their academics, whether it be in terms of their social/emotional development, and we just can’t say enough. But that’s what you do every day and this one, small measure of public appreciation, I hope you would take into your heart and to warm it and bring that back to everybody else at Truman School as well.”

At Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, the Governor’s Educator of the Year is Daniel Toye, who teaches third grade.

“Dan is awesome,” Principal Carmen Davis said. “He’s always there. He’s there early, he’s there for the children, he’s an advocate for our children, he’s committed to our building, to our teachers, he’s a mentor. He doesn’t like people to talk too much about him, but he’s absolutely awesome. I call him the man in the house because we have so many boys [who] we’re trying to raise at school and I think he does an outstanding job with that. And I know because he’s a third grade teacher, he will miss them as they go on to [Samsel Upper Elementary School], and I believe he’s done so much to mold them and shape them into gentlemen and ladies, preparing them for that upper elementary school.

At Samsel Upper Elementary School, the Governor’s Educator of the Year is Laura Hornlein, who teaches fifth grade special education.

“Ms. Hornlein is an inspiration to many,” Principal Stacey Coglianese said. “She motivates, she is the cheerleader. She greets every child and staff member in our building with a warm and friendly ‘hello.’ Your classroom is magical and we thank you for everything that you do for the children, their families, your colleagues and your administrators.”

At Sayreville Middle School, the Governor’s Educator of the Year is Margaret Fallon, who teaches history.

“Mrs. Fallon is an amazing educator and an amazing person,” Principal Donna Jakubik said. “When people hear the phrase ‘teaching children, not content,’ that’s Mrs. Fallon. Every moment in her class is a teachable moment.

“From mummifying raw chicken to the life-sized esophagus, as well as the community service club, the class act committee and the countless hours she spends soliciting donations for foster children in Middlesex County, Margaret is leading by example at all times to all of her children,” she said. “And when some parents have some concerns about their sixth grader coming up and they say, ‘My child’s very nervous about coming to the middle school,’ one of my first responses is, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll put them in Mrs. Fallon’s homeroom. They’ll be fine.'”

At Sayreville War Memorial High School, the Governor’s Educator of the Year is Christine Nappe, who teaches math.

“She is a fabulous, young individual – very organized, very into her students and what she does for the kids of our school,” Vice Principal Richard Gluchowski said. “She’s very involved in everything from class council to helping out in the office with administration and our duties. She works with the attendance department. She does a lot of different things.

“But the most unique part of Ms. Nappe, which I love greatly, is [not just] her attitude, but her classroom. It’s absolutely amazing. She has entirely transformed her classroom, all on her own, into something called ‘flex seating’, where students walk in and they choose a seat they want to sit in, but it’s not the normal desk anymore,” he said. “It’s a beanbag chair or a tire with a pillow on it, painted in different colors, and they get to choose a seat every day. So attendance is absolutely fantastic. Everybody wants to get the best seat in the house. But besides that, she is an absolute great teacher, she knows what she’s doing in terms of technology, mathematics and someone [who] we can ultimately have work for us and our kids every single day.”

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