CRANFORD - Brookside Place Elementary School (BPS) has announced that Paula Nowicki has been selected as the 2019-2020 Educational Services Professional of the Year.

According to the release, Nowicki's selection came from nominations made by the BPS community as part of the New Jersey Department of Education 2019-20 Governor’s Educator of the Year Program.

Ms. Nowicki started her career at Brookside over 20 years ago. “It’s like a family here,” she said of BPS. She currently is an Education Services Professional (ESP) in the fifth grade, assigned as an aide to a child, and has assisted in every grade throughout her years as an ESP.

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“It’s an honor,” she said of being chosen. “An entire fifth-grade class sent in letters saying why I should receive this honor,” she explained. “I love the kids. They get me,” said Mrs. Nowicki, who sometimes tells jokes over the intercom system. Some of those letters told how the children “love seeing her happy face when she opens the door in the morning,” she explained. Another letter said, “When I see her waiting at door smiling, it makes me feel safe.”

Ms. Nowicki, before becoming an ESP, helped to put together the BPS Olympics, an annual one-day field event where the students are grouped into teams of countries and compete in field games such as frisbee throwing, sack races, tug of war, and more. She keeps coming back to manage it because seeing those “400 happy faces” makes it all worthwhile, she said.

She’s also an emcee of the BPS Variety Show, doing comedy skits with Principal Michael Klimko in between student performances, and manages the entire springtime show where each class rehearses and then performs a dance.

About Brookside:

Brookside Place School is a grades K-5 school located at 700 Brookside Place, Cranford, N.J. Mr. Michael Klimko serves as Principal.

Brookside Place School is a wonderful community of students and educators. Together with our school families, we strive to create a culture that emphasizes education, personal growth and the development of character. Our goal is to foster a strong love of learning in our students and help them create connections to their community. This is accomplished through classroom rigor, enrichment programs and an ideal nurturing environment for young children.

To learn more, go to:

About the Governor’s Educator of the Year Program:

The Governor’s Educator of the Year Program highlights educational innovation, student achievement, the rewards of teaching, and important services outside the classroom environment that lead to student success. Further, it seeks to attract public attention to the positive aspects of our educational system. For more information, please visit: