LINDEN, NJ - Two Linden teachers have been chosen as Exemplary Educators by the New Jersey Department of Education for demonstrating exceptional teaching and leadership abilities.

Anthony Fischetti of Linden High School and Peter Citera of Soehl Middle School were among only 85 teachers selected statewide. They were deemed to have a positive impact on students, colleagues, and the community.

“The Department of Education couldn’t have chosen anyone more deserving than Mr. Fischetti and Mr. Citera,” said Interim Superintendent Denise Cleary. “Both of these men have a true love of teaching and of their students. They work hard every day to make sure their students’ time in school is rewarding and engaging. Their students’ reactions to the news says it all about how they feel about these teachers.”

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Both Citera and Fischetti were surprised in their classrooms with the news on Nov. 21. Cleary read the announcement over each school’s PA system while school administrators and colleagues entered the class to congratulate the men. Students in the classrooms enthusiastically applauded the honor for their teachers.

“When I heard the news about the award, I was shocked,” said Citera, who is in his fifth year and teaches eighth-grade world history. “To think of how far I have come since my first day as a teacher and what an unbelievable journey it has been. Sharing that moment of celebration with students and staff was unforgettable and the highlight of my career.”

Fischetti said the honor is a reflection on the “wonderfully dynamic” district.

“This distinction highlights the opportunities I have been given and the various ways that I have been able to grow as an educator,” said Fischetti, a 14-year veteran who teaches Italian and Introduction to Education, and is coordinator of the school’s academically robust International Baccalaureate program. “The surprise was genuine and I was lucky enough to be able to share it with friends, colleagues, and students.”

Both teachers were also honored by the Board of Education at its Nov. 26 meeting.

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