HILLSBOROUGH, NJ  - Township resident Keith Schoch, a sixth-grade teacher at Bedminster Township School has been named Somerset County Teacher of the Year by the New Jersey Education Association.

The NJEA announced winners for each of New Jersey’s 21 counties on Wednesday.

“NJEA is proud to join with students, school employees, parents, and others in congratulating the 2016-17 New Jersey County Teachers of the Year,” a spokesman for the Trenton-based organization said. “They are an impressive group of educators; we applaud their achievements inside and outside the classroom and we thank them for making their careers in public education.”

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A teacher for nearly 30 years, Schoch and his wife Lisa have two daughters, Casey and Mackenzie.

“I immensely enjoy the time I spend at school teaching and learning from children,” Schoch said in an online profile on the Bedminster School website. “I truly believe that a teacher can become a child’s friend without compromising his/her position as the authority in the classroom.

“It is my hope that each child will leave my class knowing that ‘Mr. Schoch cares about me as a person, and that doesn’t end on the day I leave his classroom,’ ’’ he continues. “More importantly however, each child should leave my class knowing that "I can achieve what I set out to achieve; I can be what I strive to be."

Schoch taught third- and fourth-grade students previously. He earned a Masters Degree from Kean University and has done postgraduate work in specialty areas such as cooperative learning, motivation, and math and science.

“I have also completed extensive coursework in a second Masters program in Educational Administration, but realize that I am probably NOT cut out to be an administrator,” he said in his online profile. “I enjoy the classroom too much.”

Schoch writes and edits three blogs he started for teachers – “Teach with Picture Books,” which has a focus on using picture books with upper elementary and middle school students; “Teaching that Sticks,” a general teaching site focusing on innovation, motivation, and retention through the use of "sticky" teaching ideas and “How to Teach a Novel,” a collection of articles, sites, and other resources.

He also serves as a reviewer for Stenhouse Publishing, a publisher of teaching resources.

In 2013, Schoch was also honored by the State Department of Education as winner of the 2012 Exemplary Educator Award.