CRANFORD - Congratulations to Orange Avenue School's Mrs. Suzette de Araujo on being named the NJAHPERD (New Jersey Athletic Health Physical Education Recreation Dance) Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year.

This is de Araujo's fifth year teaching in the Cranford Public School District, where she teaches Health and Physical education at Orange Avenue School and Bloomingdale Avenue School. OAS Principal Lori Lubieski-Hutmaker, in just her first year in the district, already has glowing reviews about de Araujo.

"Suzette is just amazing," said Lubieski-Hutmaker. "She's always looking for ways in which to expand the educational opportunities for students. She comes in early every day and puts a quote on the board for students to think about. She's just the quintessential educator."

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de Araujo's Supervisor and Cranford High School Athletic Director, Darren Torsone, also applauded her ability to have a positive effect on the students and continue to grow as an educator. 

"Ms. de Araujo is highly involved with the state organization, contributes to a monthly newsletter and actively seeks out professional opportunities to learn, grow and develop herself as a teacher," said Torsone. "She continues to help bring new initiatives to the district that will have a positive effect on students and help them to lead healthier lives."

NJAHPERD's Mission Statement says it is dedicated to advancing quality health education, physical education, recreation, dance education, and athletics through professional development, programming, advocacy, and collegial exchange. The Association promotes responsibility and development of healthy active lifestyles for New Jersey’s students, educators and community members.