HALEDON, NJ - At the Tuesday, February 11, Haledon Board of Education meeting, two members of the school faculty were recognized and presented with awards by Superintendent Miguel Hernandez.
Todd Silver, a mathematics teacher for 21 years, was nominated for Teacher of the Year by fellow teachers Diana Irribarre and Angie Diaz. Silver worked for twelve years in the private sector prior to becoming a teacher and, Hernandez said, is believed to have taught, coached, and advised about five thousand students over the course of his career so far.
"He would like to make sure that every child knows that they are the most important one in the room," Hernandez said. "Every student knows that Mr. Silver's door is always open."
Hernandez remarked that Silver was known for his signature colorful ties and Jolly Rancher candies.
"I want to thank our administration, staff, and most of all the students who continue to challenge me every day to be the best teacher I can be," Silver said on receiving his award. "I am extremely humbled and grateful to everyone and everything that has led up to this occasion. The immense satisfaction and pride I feel over the past twenty-one years through the opportunity to take moments in the classroom and make them memories that last a lifetime for your children is immeasurable. I also want to give a special thank you to the teachers who nominated me for this wonderful recognition. Miss Diaz, who always greets me with encouraging kind words and a heartwarming smile, and Miss Irribarre, a former student of mine and now teacher here at Haledon Public School who reminds me every day of the reason I became an educator. They are two of the many friends I have made throughout the years who have made HPS a very special place to be. In the words of one of my favorite TV sitcom characters, 'I'm having a pretty, pretty good night'. Thank you again for this awesome award - go Wildcats!"
When asked what inspired him to go into teaching, Silver told TAPinto Hawthorne, "When I was a kid going to school I think I wanted to be a teacher that I never had. There's nobody that I remember other than my wrestling coach who was my photography teacher in high school. So, I think I always wanted to be the teacher that the kids would take those moments and make them into memories. I still get kids that come to visit today. I just want to be somebody that they can reflect on, get a smile, and learn some math. We work very hard in class. Humor is something you have to sometimes balance when you're dealing with 8th grade students who maybe are not so enthused about math, but you try to make it as pleasant an experience as possible."
Candace Errico received the Educational Services Professional of the Year award, presented by the Superintendent. "Ms. Errico has been enriching the lives and educational experiences of students at HPS for the past 21 years as an instructional aide," Hernandez said.
Errico is a long-time resident of Clifton and Hernandez said she "was active on nights and weekends through her volunteer work with the Clifton recreation basketball program. She loves that each student is different and brings unique gifts to the classroom environment, she also said that she loves seeing former students come up to her when she is around town or working with aftercare programs. In addition to being an excellent education service provider, she is quite an athlete, she is a marathon runner, competes in triathlons, and enjoys hiking in the beautiful trails of New York. She is a proud mother of three children and we are incredibly lucky to have such a great person to be on our team at Haledon Public School."
"I would just like to thank everyone here, and who nominated me," Errico said. "I love working with the school and it's been an honor. Thank you."
Hernandez then thanked the PTSA for sponsoring the awards.
"There's something about instructional aides," Hernandez said, "they're just unbelievable, worth their weight in gold. They do an excellent job in the classrooms and some people don't realize how much they do."