Six Teachers of the Year to be Honored by Hopewell Valley Regional School District

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    In early January, six HVRSD teachers were announced as winners of the Governor’s Teacher/Educational Services Professional Recognition award. The award is part of a statewide program to recognize New Jersey’s best teachers and educational services professionals. 

    The 2016-17 winners are:

    • Bear Tavern Elementary School collaborative fifth-grade teacher Kelly Stingel
    • Central High School English teacher David Sherwin
    • Hopewell Elementary School second-grade teacher Lauren DiGaetano
    • Timberlane Middle School choir teacher Lynnel Jenkins
    • Toll Gate Grammar School fourth-grade teacher Amber Miller
    • Stony Brook Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Matt Close

    Educators can be nominated by parents, students or other educators in the district and are chosen by a committee of administrators, teachers and former winners. The award is given to educators who, among other criteria, inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn, serves as an exceptionally skilled and dedicated educator, demonstrates leadership and innovation in and outside the classroom and has the respect of students, parents and colleagues.

    Bear Tavern collaborative fifth-grade teacher Kelly Stingel has dedicated 27 years to the students of Hopewell Valley.

    “She is relentless in her drive to get to know her students and to find creative and effective ways to help each of them to be successful,” said Bear Tavern principal Chris Turnbull. “She is receptive to parents and truly makes them partners in their children’s education.”

    David Sherwin teaches multiple freshman English classes and senior elective class Global Public Service. He has been with the district for 10 years and is known as an educator who leaves a lasting impression.

    “Mr. Sherwin is a supportive and nurturing educator, one who tirelessly works with and for the betterment of his students,” said Central High principal Tana Smith. “He is the consummate professional, working collaboratively with staff and parents alike.”

    Hopewell Elementary teacher Lauren DiGaetano has worked in the district for six years. She joined the Hopewell Elementary family in 2011 and has been making an impact ever since.

    “Lauren has had such a tremendous impact on the lives of countless children,” said Hopewell Elementary principal David Friedrich. “Each day, Mrs. DiGaetano works tirelessly to educate, nurture and inspire each and every one of her young learners.”

    Dr. Lynnel Joy-Jenkins has worked in the district for 8 years. As the choir teacher at Timberlane Middle School, Dr. Jenkins inspires and encourages her students.

    “Dr. Jenkins takes all children as they come and builds a collaborative community where students learn to use their instruments as a team,” said Timberlane Principal Rosetta Treece. “She is a master educator and genuine person who touches the lives of her many students.”

    At Toll Gate Grammar, fourth-grade teacher Amber Miller has been working in the district for 6 years. According to Principal Faye Lewis, Mrs. Miller possesses the traits of a great teacher.

    “As an educator who is open to trying new strategies for the benefit of her students, she continues to demonstrate her desire to excel as a practitioner and support her students’ learning,” said Principal Lewis. “We are so very pleased and proud to have her as a member of our Toll Gate community.”

    Stony Brook Elementary honoree Matt Close has been teaching in the district for 14 years. As a fifth-grade teacher he has a remarkable impact on his students.

    “Mr. Close started as a teacher in 2003 and has made a positive impression on his students,” said Principal Steve Wilfing. “He is a true All-Star and we are so fortunate to have him at Stony Brook as a colleague and friend.”

    The teachers will be honored by the Hopewell Valley Regional Board of Education at the March 20th meeting. The honorees, their families and principals have all been invited to a reception prior to the board meeting and will be given recognition during the meeting.

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