HELMETTA/SPOTSWOOD, NJ - Spotswood PTA President Melissa Hallerman actually resides in Spotswood, but shares her heart with Helmetta. She is Friday's Helmetta Hometown Hero. Hallerman has been the head of the Spotswood PTA for the past four years which supports Spotswood and Helmetta students in the Spotswood School District. During her tenure as president, the Schoenly School, Appleby School and the Memorial Middle School were all named as National PTA Schools of Excellence. The National PTA School of Excellence award is the highest honor a Parent Teacher Association can receive.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Hallerman has worked to help keep spirits high among Spotswood School District students, parents and staff as well as both the Spotswood and Helmetta communities by organizing egg and bear hunts, chalk-the-walk art, virtual tricky trays and more.

"Melissa is an incredible woman, leader and true advocate for our school students, teachers, parents and greater community," said Helmetta Mayor Chris Slavicek. "With a strong emphasis on togetherness, she has been integral and responsible for bridging the gap between our community and school during her tenure. She has always included Helmetta by generously participating and wholeheartedly supporting all of our town events without question."

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"During this pandemic, Melissa has been the epitome of a hero," Slavicek continued. "She has initiated interactive and creative programs that have kept the spirit of our school children alive! Her focus remains on providing for the betterment of each child alike and ensuring they receive the recognition and accolades they deserve."

Hallerman has also organized give back campaigns during the stay-at-home sending messages of thanks and care packages to frontline healthcare workers.

If you know a Helmetta Hometown Hero like Hallerman who is in the trenches of the coronavirus crisis, send borough Mayor Chris Slavicek an email at mayor@helmettaboro.com. Nominations should include the person's name, a brief description of their job, what makes them a hometown hero and a photograph.