Spotswood Board Of Education Honors Retiring Teachers

Jean Puff receives a hug from Schoenly School Principal Nancy Torchiano at the June 6 Spotswood Board of Education meeting. Puff is retiring after 39 years in the district. Credits: Dawn Miller
Spotswood High School English teacher, Alan Cummings shakes hands with Spotswood Board of Education members as he is honored for 30 years in the district. Credits: Dawn Miller
Sharon Welsh listens as she is honored for her 39 years in the Spotswood School District. Credits: Dawn Miller

SPOTSWOOD, NJ - Teaching is often a thankless job and contrary to popular belief, most teachers don't gravitate to the profession simply because they want summers off. Many teachers enter the career out of a love for children as well as a desire to make a difference. Some become educators because they were inspired by a teacher when they were a student.

At the June 6 meeting of the Spotswood Board of Education, seven teachers were honored for their longtime service to the Spotswood School District with words of appreciation from their principal, colleagues and students as well as a plaque.

The retirees in the district include Carol Cohen, Alan Cummings, Barbara Plachinski, Marianne Boszko, Marsha Ober, Jean Puff, Sharon Welsh, Tony Toto and Diane Kuslansky. Puff, Welsh and Cummings were the only teachers present at the meeting to receive their awards.

Sign Up for E-News

Five of the retiring teachers spent their career at Spotswood High School. Cummings taught English for 30 years while Plachinski instructed countless art students. Ober spent 28 years teaching students the nuances of the Spanish language. Boszko was a teacher and guidance counselor for 28 years. Cohen was the backbone of the high school's Business and Vocational Department for 37 years.

"All of our retirees have made a major impact on the lives of hundreds if not thousands of students," Spotswood High School Principal Thomas Calder said in his opening remarks before honoring each retiring teacher with words of praise for their accomplishments.

Puff spent 39 years as a Physical Education teacher at both the Schoenly and Appleby Schools. The longtime teacher was moved to tears as she listened to Schoenly School Principal Nancy Torchiano's creative, Dr. Seuss-inspired poem about her time in the district. Torchiano also had high words of praise for Kuslansky who spend 22 years with the high school's Tots and Teens program. Seven current Spotswood School District teachers came through the program, which has high school juniors and seniors working in an early childhood classroom with preschoolers.

Welsh began teaching at the Appleby School in 1978. Appleby Principal Karen Boyle gave a lively tribute to Welsh that started off with all the things that were trendy back in the late 70s.

Acting Memorial School Principal, Assistant Superintendent and new Spotswood School District Superintendent Graham Peabody spoke highly of Toto, who retired in January from his position as a Physical Education teacher and coach at both Spotswood High School and the Memorial Middle School. Toto spent 32 years in the district.

Every day for 180 days, parents trust their children's education and well-being to teachers.

An often cited teacher quote has been used in print since 1993. It's authorship is unknown, but its words and sentiment strike a chord for educators everywhere.

"A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart."

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


67-Unit Six-Story ‘Mid-Rise’ Apartment Building Proposed

May 23, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - A development company affiliated with two apartment complexes near Neilson Street is now seeking approval for 67-unit, six story apartment building for a vacant lot on the Street that would cover the entire lot and would exceed the four-story limit permitted in the zone.

The Community Builders, a Boston-based company doing building as Stirlingside Urban Renewal LLC, is seeking ...

Amazon’s Career Choice Program Wins “Community Excellence” Award

May 23, 2018

EDISON, NJ - Amazon’s Career Choice program recently received the “Community Excellence” award from the New Jersey Community College Consortium for its impact on the local community.

Steven Johnson, Amazon’s Director for Associate Development, was on hand to accept the award and lead a panel discussion on how the program provides trained, motivated employees for ...

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Steve Lenox of TAPinto Paterson

This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Paterson's franchisee, Steve Lenox. Find out how the current owner of a public affairs firm went from a former State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg to a proud TAPinto franchisee for New Jersey's third largest city.


Q. When did you join

I joined in September, ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, May 29, 7:00 PM

The Heldrich Hotel, New Brunswick

New Jersey's Environment - A Pivotal Moment: an ...

Sat, June 2, 8:00 PM

East Brunswick

Casino Night & Tricky Tray

Sun, June 10, 9:00 AM

Nomahegan Park, Cranford

Strides4Strength - A Walk to End Domestic Violence

Letter to the Editor: "We Seek Clarity, Support" from Mayor Regarding Development on Summerhill Road

May 10, 2018

Dear Mayor Cohen:  

Thank you.  Your issued statement last night regarding the current development plans for the intersection of Summerhill and Old Stage Roads - which will be under discussion at the May 17 zoning board meeting in East Brunswick, is a welcome voice. 

Like you, we have a vision for East Brunswick and share your desire for smart redevelopment that ...

Enrollment Begins June 2 For Lord Stirling's Summer Riding Lessons

May 23, 2018

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. — The Somerset County Park Commission will be conducting registration for summer horseback riding classes and other seasonal programs at Lord Stirling Stable, located at 256 South Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge, N.J.  

Lessons are offered to juniors (ages 9-17) and adults, and will accommodate first-time beginners through more advanced levels with jumping ...

TAPintoTravels’ Resident Haeringer Set to Judge World Championship of Salami Making in France Next Month

May 23, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Many in Chatham know Jean-Eudes Haeringer for his work as a handyman around town, as well as the set he built for the Chatham Middle School's production of Willy Wonka Jr.

But Haeringer is now adding a new skill that few can claim: Judge for the 2018 World Championship of Artisan Salami Making.

Haeringer, originally from Strasbourg, France, ...

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Press, 2018)

            What is the “final frontier” on the Earth's surface? Many people would say Alaska, the 49th state, which was added to the United States fifty years ago. Once one has traveled to that remote land, it is impossible to forget the magnificence of the terrain and beasts. Floating by ship in Glacier Bay, surrounded by ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...