EAST HANOVER, NJ- “As you can tell we have a very close knit district here.” Superintendent Scott Rubin beamed with pride as he addressed those gathered at Tuesday evening’s East Hanover Board of Education meeting. “It is filled with absolutely excellent faculty members. There are three though that have really distinguished themselves this year and have earned the title of teacher of the year.” He is referring to Jayme Yannuzzi of Frank J. Smith Elementary School, Frank Biamonte of Central Elementary School and Jennifer Doherty of East Hanover Middle School. These three outstanding teachers have garnered a reputation in the community for their exemplary efforts in educating the students of East Hanover.
Jayme Yannuzzi was the first recognized. The first grade teacher from Frank J. Smith Elementary School received four individual nominations including three separate staff members and a family. Frank J. Smith Principal, Kerry Quinn, gave the crowd some excerpts from these nominations, one of which stated “Mrs. Yannuzzi is truly a part of our family dinners each night. Our son has had the honor of being in her class this year and what an amazing year it has been. She and Ms. Desai have instilled a love of learning in our little boy and we know it will stay with him forever. Mrs. Yannuzzi is the perfect combination of kindness, nurturing, structure and flexibility that these little ones need and at the same time she creates such a fun and safe learning environment for our students.” Touched by these glowing recommendations, both principal and teacher found their eyes tearing up before the end and one look at Jayme’s face told everyone present how much this meant to her.
Frank Biamonte was up next. The fourth grade teacher from Central Elementary School was brought up alongside Principal Melissa Falcone. Knowing Frank quite some time, Principal Falcone was proud to announce him Teacher of the Year. His infectious love of learning permeates the classroom and inspires his students to strive for the best. Principal Falcone smiled while saying “He makes it a priority to welcome each of his students every morning and on any given day, and I can attest to this myself because I often see it, I can find his former students visiting his classroom before or after school.” The ability for a teacher to inspire students even after they have left their class is the mark of a wonderful educator and one which Central Elementary School is proud to have in their Teacher of the Year.
The last teacher brought forward was East Hanover Middle School’s own Jennifer Doherty. Principal Stacie Costello, who has been a colleague of the sixth grade teacher for over 15 years, read aloud from the letter that had named her Teacher of the Year, saying “Jennifer goes above and beyond in sending the message that each student is an important part of her class…her classroom assistants are treated with the same sense of importance and the overall effect is a cohesive caring classroom community…She spends much of her free time looking for activities and materials that will engage her students and enhance the curriculum…She is dedicated beyond compare.” To top off this emotional message, one of the East Hanover students was in the audience and rushed forward to present Mrs. Doherty with a bouquet of flowers and a hug. This act alone showed how much she has meant in the lives of her students.
The East Hanover School District has incredible and dedicated teachers across the board. This year, these individual educators were selected because of their impact both in and out of the classroom. Both the teachers and the district are sure to be proud, not only for the awards, but for the auditorium full of students, colleagues, and friends that were there to show their support.