DENVILLE, NJ-- At the beginning of the school year Morris Hills High School had granted Sophie Santana and Sue Young the honor of being awarded as the Educators of the Year. Their dedication, drive and passion did not go unnoticed throughout the community and academic halls of Morris Hills.
Santana, who was awarded Teacher of the Year currently teaches Spanish three and four, is a Consulting teacher of the World Language Department, a member of the Articulation Committee and serves as a translator for the Child Study Team. Santana has taught at Morris Hills High School for twenty four years. Undoubtedly, she has made an impact on the many lives and hearts that have passed through her classroom door during her years of teaching.
“Not only do the students learn from you but you also learn from them every single day of your life.” commented Santana
Recently, a former student from twenty years ago posted a status on facebook thanking her for the laughs, advice and memories they shared in her classroom. Cassarah Morales, current senior at Morris Hills and former student of Santana described her as “hardworking” and “very mindful”. Colleagues thanked and appreciated the unity and respect she had integrated into the World Language Department.
Santana is constantly shaping the way of learning and teaching and setting an example to lead with her sincere devotion to education and her students. When she is not at Morris Hills, she is at home with her five children and helping her husband run numerous daycares in her hometown, Kearny.
“I always said my motivation in succeeding in life have always been my kids, but here at work it's my department.” Santana said.
Young was awarded the Educational Specialist of the Year. Young currently serves as a guidance counselor, AVID 11 counselor and has coordinated programs for the guidance department such as NCAA Night, County College of Morris Application and Information Night, and Senior - Alumni Programs. Throughout her tenure at Morris Hills High School, she advises and oversees her students while they transition and take on the milestones from high school to college.
Her colleagues mentioned how deserving she was of this award , commenting “we all knew exactly why she won, she is a huge asset to this department and a great colleague.”
Heather McDonald, another Guidance Counselor at Morris Hills, added on by saying “Having her as a colleague is very rewarding, she is a friend to many people in the building so that makes it all the more special. She is someone that I go to on a regular basis for support and she is amazing at what she does.”
Young is meticulously dedicated to her job and is praised as an exceptional and intricate asset to the high school. As Young was being honored for this achievement she recalls being shocked when she heard her name over the loudspeaker. When asked what her initial reaction was to being granted this achievement she commented saying
“This something I would never even think about, you come to work because you love what you do and recieving a particular accolade was never really on the radar for me so I was particularly shocked when hearing my name.”
When Mrs. Young is not fostering a positive atmosphere at Morris Hills she is at home with her three children and her husband who she also mentions to be her biggest supporter.