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 Florence M. Gaudineer Middle School Principal Timothy Kielty selected Art Teacher Leonard Gabriel as Gaudineer’s submission for the Governor's Educator of the Year.

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“I am proud to be selected Teacher of the Year at Florence M. Gaudineer Middle School,” Leonard Gabriel said. “Springfield Public Schools and have shown tremendous support for the Arts and this has allowed me to build a strong art program at Gaudineer”

Gabriel has taught art in the Springfield Public Schools system for 14 years. Prior to teaching art, Gabriel worked in advertising in Manhattan for 20 years.

“I think this experience working with concepts, working under deadline helps me bring a different approach to teaching,” Gabriel added.

Gabriel attended Kean University for his undergraduate degree and also earned a masters in Educational Leadership for Principal and Supervisor Certification.

Every time Gabriel has approached Principal Timothy Kielty with an idea, he has supported it and allowed him to run with it.

“Leonard Gabriel is a creative force at Florence M. Gaudineer Middle School who brings innovation and whose impact is felt throughout the school,” Principal Timothy Kielty stated. “His students thrive in his classes and it allows them to experience success in areas different from other academic endeavors. I believe his students will carry these creative experiences throughout their lives, enriching it and thereby their community.”

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 Florence M. Gaudineer Middle School creates a quality academic and social environment which nurtures the intellectual and affective growth of each student. The environment is one which is safe and secure, where excellence and creativity are fostered, and where students are provided opportunities to gain skills and knowledge they will need to meet life challenges successfully.