Trenton, NJ – The Christie Administration announced the selection of Stephanie Cardoso, a 5th grade teacher at Martin Luther King Elementary School in Edison, as the Middlesex County Teacher of the Year for the 2014-2015 school years.

Stephanie was one of 22 New Jersey County Teachers of the Year and the State Facility Teacher of the Year. She is in her ninth year of teaching at Martin Luther King Elementary School and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Reading and Literacy. She has spent four years teaching 1st grade and is now in her fifth year of teaching 5th grade.

Stephanie was named ABC World News Person of the Week in June 2013 and a “Teacher Who Makes Magic” in 2014 for her philanthropic endeavors to help her students learn through community service outreach projects.

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The County Teachers of the Year were honored at an Orientation Ceremony on July 31 at the Department of Education in Trenton. Teachers had the opportunity to attend short presentations and interact in Q&A sessions with Department of Education personnel about educational initiatives, including New Jersey’s Common Core State Standards, which better prepare children for college and career.

 “It’s my pleasure to congratulate all of our County Teachers of the Year and State Facility Teacher of the Year for 2014-15,” said Acting Education Commissioner David Hespe. “These are model teachers who represent diverse content areas and grade levels. This award is a tribute to their talent, dedication, professionalism, and success with our students. Each year they serve as part of a valuable corps of teacher-leaders who can inspire all of us.”

County Teachers of the Year are selected at the county level by panels representing a cross-section of administrators, teachers, parents, and county education association representatives convened by the executive county superintendants of schools.

A state-level panel of educators will select New Jersey’s State Teacher of the Year based on a written application, video submission, and interviews with the top five finalists. The State Teacher of the Year will be announced at the State Board of Education’s October meeting, and will go on to represent New Jersey at the National Teacher of the Year competition.

“For a school to have one of its educators named as County Teacher of the Year is a great honor. It is a huge community relations bonus,” said Diane Cummins, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction in the Clearview Regional High School District. As the 2003-04 State Teacher of the Year, she has remained involved in the program at the local, county and state levels. “Having a Teacher of the Year showcases the professional staff’s accomplishments and opens many doors of opportunity to educational initiatives and programs,” she said.

The National Teacher of the Year Program, of which the County Teacher of the Year program is a part, began in 1952 and continues as the oldest, most prestigious national honors program that focuses public attention on excellence in teaching. It is implemented by the Chief Council of State School Officers (CCSSO). New Jersey signed on with CCSSO to implement the New Jersey Teacher of the Year program in 1969.

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