BRIDGEWATER, NJ - More than four dozen Bridgewater-Raritan school district faculty and staff members were honored for their academic and longevity achievements at the Nov. 21 board of education meeting.

Teachers and staffers were honored for 25 years of service, acquisition of advanced degrees and tenure achievement.

“It’s incredible having so many staff members with so many accomplishments,” said Superintendent of Schools Russell Lazovick.

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Six individuals were honored for 25 years of service. Adamsville Primary School's recipient was Josephine Balliro, a cafe/play assistant, along with David Matonis, a special programs supervisor of Special Programs at the Wade Administration Building. 

The quarter-century honorees from Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School were Elisa Bowser, a social studies teacher, and Donna Kovonuk, a special education assistant. Honored from Bridgewater-Raritan High School were Sandra Baranowski, a physical education teacher, and Christine Romeo, a social sciences teacher.

Educators who were honored for obtaining advanced degrees included Bradley Gardens Primary School art teacher Claudia Browne and elementary teaching specialist Mary Beth Duffin-Hickey, both of whom received master's degrees, along with school counselor Ellen Whalen, who received a doctorate in psychology.

Adamsville honorees included english as a second language teacher Meghan De La Rosa, who earned a Master of Education, and ESL teacher Michelle Levash, who earned a Master of Science in special education. Abigail Goldstein, third grade in-class and pull-out resource teacher at Crim Primary, earned a Master of Arts in education, while EST teacher Crista Fenton, of Milltown Primary, earned a Master of Science in educational administration. 

Also honored from Milltown were fourth grade teacher Keri Peloso, who obtained a master’s in education, and school nurse Nancy Robol, who earned a master’s in nursing.

Academic independence teacher Alexis Ryan, of Hamilton Primary, earned a master’s in teaching, while school nurse Mary Theresa Salamone and music teacher David Zas earned masters degrees in wellness and lifestyle management, and educational and instructional technology, respectively.

Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School’s advanced degree recipients included special education teachers Lori Dini and Mary Healy, who both earned doctorates in educational technology, and physical education teacher Keri Schultz, who earned a master’s in health and wellness education.

Bridgewater-Raritan High School had three advanced degree honorees, each of whom obtained a masters degree. They included special education/science teacher Samantha Cichon (educational administration), and social sciences teachers Edward Knapp (education) and Christine Madurski (psychology). 

Cichon now has two masters degrees.

A total of 26 individuals were honored by the board for achieving tenure in the district. 

The honorees from John F. Kennedy Primary were first grade teacher Erin Biglin and third grade teacher Jennifer Brackin. Honored from Hillside Intermediate School were speech language specialist Amber DeJianne, language arts teacher John Hingelberg and secretary Isabella Sisti, while Hamilton Primary honorees were special education instructor Elizabeth Duffy and first grade teacher Tracey Wurmstich.

First grade teacher Jennifer Murphy was honored from Crim Primary, while ESL teacher Lauren Naselli was honored from Milltown Primary. Celebrated from Eisenhower Intermediate School was secretary Michelle Pirozzi, along with academic independence teacher Katherine Tierney, while executive secretary Kristin Morin was honored from student services.

Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School had the second-highest number of tenure honorees. The group included language arts teacher Carla Fernandez, special education secretary Brenda Hockstein and social studies teachers Michael Rusiniak and James Stanley.

Bridgewater-Raritan High School’s honorees were science teacher Louis Carozza, psychologist Julie Gold, mathematics teacher Alyssa Guider, school counselor Rachel Hennessy, social sciences teacher Daniel Kavanagh, business teacher Stephen Michaele, and family/consumer sciences teacher Mindy Sweetwood.

“Congratulations to all of you,” said school board president Jill Gladstone. “Your service is appreciated, and your love of learning is very meaningful. You’re a model of lifelong learners.”