NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Deena Rudnicki, the Allen W. Roberts (AWR) Teacher of the Year, received a Golden Apple award from Superintendent of Schools David Miceli at the Board of Education meeting on Thursday, March 30.

AWR Principal Gina M. Hansen introduced Rudnicki and praised her as "a gifted teacher who begins each day with a positive attitude and a mission to provide each of her students with an individual program to ensure social, emotional, and academic growth."  

A pre-school teacher at AWR for the past seven years, she first came to the school as Miss Malanga, a Kindergarten teacher, in 2006. Since then she has continued to study education and has earned a Masters Degree in Reading.

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Among her many positive attributes is that she "puts other's needs before her own.  Whether it is a surprise pasta dinner she cooked (with the help from mamma Malanga) for the entire faculty to boost morale or her willingness to volunteer to share her aide," said Hansen.

She has earned a number of PTA and NPEF mini-grants and served on a number of committees. Hansen listed the many activities Rudnicki has participated in during the past year Including: AWR Core Tech Team; Sunshine Club; STEM Fair; PTA Fun Fair; mentored a high school student; hosted visitors from the Summit Speech School; painted the Buddy Bench; ran the NPEF "Strides for Students," and played in two March Mayhem Basketball Games.

To commemorate Rudnicki's participation in the two games, playing for the home team, Hansen gave Rudnicki a framed photo of her in uniform that was taken during the March Mayhem event.