MONTVILLE, NJ – A celebratory feeling was in the air at the Feb. 5 Montville Township public schools Board of Education meeting as the 2018 teachers of the year were named. Hugs, cheers, and rings of the cowbell punctuated the meeting as names were announced from each school by their principals.

Superintendent of Schools René Rovtar said this was award season so it’s fitting to take the opportunity to recognize the best and brightest of Montville schools. She called the process to name the teachers and education service professionals of the year “comprehensive.”

“Teachers are nominated either by a colleague or parents, and each school has a committee that works to review the applications, and the committee chooses one for each category after very careful consideration,” she said. “The staff, the administration, the board – all of us are here to celebrate these truly excellent teachers and professionals, and that is really the heart of any school district, is having staff members who are committed, dedicated, passionate, knowledgeable, and these folks all exemplify that to the highest degree.”

Sign Up for E-News

These professionals were honored at the meeting:

Teachers of the Year                        Education Service Professionals of the Year

Cedar Hill - Lisa Accardi                     Cedar Hill - Sudhamayee Dhamodharan

Hilldale - Roxanne Larangeira           Hilldale - Debbie Mancino

Valley View - Kristin Warfield              Valley View - Leonard Saunders

William Mason - Scott Brennan        William Mason - Shannon Kuratli        

Woodmont - Maria Aiello                  Woodmont - Pattiann Olivieri

Lazar - Caitlin Cardinale                   Lazar - Deb Meenan

MTHS - Sharon Pflug-Moench          MTHS - Kim Garcia-Cunha

Princeton University Distinguished Secondary School Teacher:

Stefanie San Filippo (high school)



Teachers Tina Janis and Laura Catalano from Woodmont Elementary School brought their fourth and fifth grade PowerSave Club members to present on the club before the board. The club members said they learn about energy saving, working with sponsor NJ Natural Gas. Last year, the students performed an energy audit, club members told the board. This year, the students will be educating the other students about how to use energy efficiently and how to save energy, they said. The children showed the posters they had made for a bulletin board at the school, with slogans such as, “The last one to leave the room should shut off the lights,” explanations of the types of energy, and portrayals of the different sources of energy. The students gave Rovtar a t-shirt to make her part of the team as well.

“We run the program like a club with students meeting during recess to participate in age appropriate mini-lessons provided by our sponsor,” the advisors told TAPinto Montville via email. “The first year of the program students completed energy audits of the entire building, measuring heat, lighting, and electricity use. All the energy measurement tools are provided by our sponsor. These audits were shared with administration. Now in our second year, students will continue with their lessons, but will begin to educate our younger students about energy use, savings, and green careers with engaging student-created videos, learning activities and incentives. We are in communication with a liaison from PowerSave to report our activities and assure we are following the program requirements. The club advisors are also required to meet three times during the year with our liaison and sponsor to learn more about the program, talk with other PowerSave school advisors, and generate ideas for new ways to meet the goals of the program.”

Visit and read your exclusive Montville news at TAPinto Montville​ 24/7 for FREE: TAPinto​Montville​.net 

Sign up to receive FREE TAPinto news in your email inbox:

Follow TAPinto on Twitter: @MontvilleTAP 

Like us on Facebook:

​​Download the FREE TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS to get news as it is happening.