PATERSON, NJ  – A large group of district educators and administrators have more than just their love of teaching in common. They are also veterans of the United States military services and they are featured in a new video produced by the university that is aimed at attracting more veterans to public education. Many of the district’s teachers who appear in the video are William Paterson University (WP) alumni. 

The video, called Veterans In the Classroom, was a collaborative effort between WP’s College of Education and its Office of Veteran and Military Affairs. The interviews with the district staff were conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

CLICK HERE to view the Veterans In the Classroom video. 

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“Veterans who teach after completing their military service have given twice to their nation. Paterson Public Schools is fortunate to have many veterans teaching our students,” said Superintendent of Schools Eileen F. Shafer. “I am very proud of our teachers and administrators who have served in the military, and grateful to William Paterson University for choosing a few of them to be a part of their video project. I sincerely hope that more veterans will consider teaching as a post-military career. Young people can never have enough role models who exhibit the best of what it means to be an American.”

“Veterans make great teachers,” said WP College of Education Dean Amy Ginsberg, Ph.D. “We welcome veterans to join our teacher preparation programs, especially alternate route and career and technical education (CTE) options in which they can be hired as teachers of record while completing their coursework.”

What veterans bring to a school environment is their understanding of discipline and its importance, their appreciation of the importance of education, and their ability to adapt and work in highly stressful circumstances,” said WP Coordinator of the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs Silvia Barrera. “Here at William Paterson University, we are not only committed to supporting our military as they transition back into civilian life, but we give them the access to achieve their academic goals with incentives such as the Global War on Terrorism tuition waiver program.  Our College of Education gives them the opportunity to impart their wisdom and experience to the next generation of leaders.”

Ginsberg and Barrera appear in the video as well as WP Professor in Residence Dina Scaccheti, who was one of the project’s facilitators. Among the others featured in the video are:

 

  • Edgard Nieves, Principal of Operations of the Eastside Educational Campus, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps. 

  • Orlando Pagan, a teacher at the School of Government and Public Administration, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps. (William Paterson University alumnus)

  • Augustin Castillo, a teacher at the School of Information Technology, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps. (William Paterson University alumnus)

  • Jay Brock Decker, a teacher at the School of Information Technology, who served in the U.S. Army Reserves. (William Paterson University alumnus)

  • Marlon Flores, a bilingual teacher at New Roberto Clemente School, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps. (William Paterson University alumnus)

  • Herlan Avella, Jr., a teacher at the School of Government and Public Administration, who served in the U.S. Army. 

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