SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Mrs. Mary Eileen Fay, Union Catholic's SUCCESS Leadership Program moderator and Academic Support teacher, has been selected as a Teacher of the Year by the Union County Educational Services Commission.

Fay was honored for her achievement at a special ceremony on May 23 at her alma mater, Kean University. Now in her 23rd year as a teacher and eighth year at Union Catholic, Mrs. Fay was chosen as a Teacher of the Year after being nominated by her peers.

The criteria for the Union County Educational Services Commission’s Teacher of the Year are as follows:

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  1. Establishment of productive and positive classroom climate and rapport with students.
  2. Development of feelings of self worth and love of learning in students.
  3. Use of creativity, innovation, and best practices in the classroom.
  4. Ability to increase student achievement through a learning-focused environment.
  5. Ability to contribute to the professional learning community in their school/program.
  6. Ability to instill lifelong learning skills in their students.

Mrs. Fay was honored to be chosen.

“This award means a lot to me, especially because I was nominated by my peers,’’ said Mrs. Fay, who has done exceptional work with UC’s SUCCESS Leadership Program, a peer mentorship program for incoming freshmen who are admitted into the Freshman Foundations Program. “Having other people think what I do is special really means a lot.’’

Mrs. Fay said teaching at Union Catholic and working in the SUCCESS Program has been very rewarding.

“There is no other school that I’ve worked in where I’ve been this happy,’’ said Mrs. Fay. “The most rewarding thing about working in the SUCCESS Program is watching students come into school in their freshman year with that deer in headlights look, and then by senior year watching them progress out of foundation level classes and into more challenging, and meeting their own success goals.’’