SPRINGFIELD, NJ – The Springfield Public School District nominated one outstanding teacher from each of the five schools and a school nurse in the district to the Governor's Educator of the Year Program.

The New Jersey Teacher of the Year Program and the Governor's Teacher/Educational Services Professionals Recognition Program was recently integrated into the Governor's Educator of the Year Program. 

Springfield Public School Superintendent Michael A. Davino and James Caldwell Elementary School Principal David Rennie selected 5th Grade Teacher Michael Abbate as Caldwell’s submission for the Governor's Educator of the Year.

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“I am very humbled and honored to be named James Caldwell’s Teacher of the Year.  Caldwell’s staff is filled with great educators that I get a chance to work closely with each day, which makes my job a lot easier,” Michael Abbate said.  “I want to finally thank all the parents at Caldwell for their support through out the years.  It is appreciated more than I can express”

Abbate has taught for 16 years at James Caldwell Elementary. This is his second time winning Teacher of the Year at Caldwell and has twice won the Union County Spring Coach of the Year.

“It’s been a pleasure working with Mr. Abbate all these years. His enthusiasm for teaching shows itself in his students’ enthusiasm for learning,” Principal David Rennie said. “Mr. Abbate balances a challenging learning environment with a nurturing style that supports each and every one of his students.”

Abbate is also the head baseball coach at Jonathan Dayton High School and is an assistant coach for the football and basketball teams at Dayton as well. As the head coach, Abbate has won two school state titles in 2013 and 2014. 

Abbate attended Moravian College for his undergraduate and earned his masters at Marygrove College in 2006.

The Governor’s Educator of the Year program highlights educational innovation, student achievement, the rewards of teaching, and important services outside the classroom environment that lead to student success.  Further, it seeks to attract public attention to the positive aspects of our educational system.

The James Caldwell Elementary School is a grade two to five school, where students enter a safe, challenging and dynamic student-centered environment. This learning community cultivates responsibility, cooperation, and self-motivation, while promoting a shared partnership between home and school.