CRANFORD - Mrs. Valerie Gormely has been named the Walnut Avenue School Teacher of the Year. 

Mrs. Gormely has worked for Cranford Public Schools for the last 7 years and has worked with children with exceptional learning needs in a variety of capacities over the last 12 years. She worked as a paraprofessional and a home-based ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapist before accepting a teaching position in the Full Day ABA-Based Program at Walnut Avenue School in 2014. Her passion is special education and she is currently completing her Masters in Autism and Developmental Disabilities.

In her classroom, Mrs. Gormely fosters an environment where children feel welcome and safe. She utilizes a variety of strategies derived from the methodologies of Applied Behavior Analysis and works hard to make sure each child reaches his or her potential by individualizing her teaching accordingly. She places an immense focus on language acquisition and social skills. To her, students are like family.

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Mrs. Gormely is humbled and touched to know that she is able to make a difference in the lives of her students. Some parents have described Mrs. Gormely as a “hidden gem,” stating, “She shows a level of caring and dedication that I would never have expected from someone who isn’t family.” Others have also spoken about her, declaring, “Mrs. Gormely is dedicated, warm hearted, and the most amazing teacher that ever came into our lives. She is one in a million!”

She is extremely honored by her nomination as the W.A.S. Classroom Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Gormely shared, “All the staff here at W.A.S. create a warm, fun, and nurturing learning environment where all individuals are destined to flourish.” She adds, “I want to also acknowledge my dedicated paraprofessionals who help the classroom run like a well oiled machine!”