WESTFIELD, NJ — Three teachers — Molly Dennis, Daniel Devlin and John Brzozowski — and custodian Kevin Womack are being honored by the Westfield High School community with awards of excellence, the district announced Tuesday.
The winners were chosen based on nominations made by students, staff and parents at the school.
Dennis, a science teacher at WHS since 2002, is the recipient of the Distinguished Teacher of the Year award, established to annually recognize a teacher who, through both excellence in teaching and a demonstrated commitment to intellectual pursuits beyond the classroom, serves as a model and inspiration to the high school community to strive toward excellence. Nominations on her behalf described her ability to impact her students in her role as a teacher and also as a person. She was credited with bringing energy into the classroom, providing innovative studying techniques, and consistently offering help to students during her free time.
Devlin is the recipient of the Above and Beyond Award, which was established to recognize a teacher or counselor who has made a difference in the life of a struggling child either socially, emotionally or academically. A drama teacher at WHS since 2006, he was commended by his theater students for making each one feel special and cared for, particularly after the tragedy the school experienced this year after the sudden death of a fellow student. Devlin is considered both a mentor and a friend, cultivating a love of theatre and imparting meaningful messages to the students he inspires, according to the district.
Brzozowski, WHS-PTSO Outstanding Teacher of the Year, has been a choral music teacher at WHS for 11 years and also serves as the music director for the spring musicals. The PTSO award annually recognizes a teacher who is encouraging and motivating, is a good role model and shows respect for co-workers, students and parents. Brzozowski was described as a wonderful teacher who instills confidence, culture and camaraderie and gives unconditional support for his students in and out of the classroom. He also was commended for creating the Student Leadership Committee to encourage students in the choir to become leaders and decision makers.
Womack, a custodian at WHS, is honored with the Robert and Linda Foose Memorial Award, named for a former principal and teacher. Womack, who is completing his first year as a dedicated custodian at the school, is recognized for the unwavering support he provides. He received words of appreciation by the theater department for staying late to enable the technical crew to complete its work and for demonstrating ongoing kindness and cooperation.
The awardees will be honored by the Westfield Board of Education at a public meeting on Tuesday, June 13, at 7 p.m. in Room 105 at 302 Elm Street.