WESTFIELD, NJ — Five Westfield Public School teachers and one support staff member were honored at Tuesday’s Westfield Board of Education meeting. The group was selected by their peers and students for special recognition for their service.

“On behalf of the board, it really is my pleasure — this is one of our favorite evening of the year to be able to have you guys come and let us give you a resolution, a testament to your dedication and to thank you for your service to the children of our district,” Board of Education President Gretchan Ohlig said.

The first award category was for Intermediate School Outstanding Teacher of the Year. The award was established by the Optimist Club of Westfield — a supporter of schools and children in the community — and helps honor teachers who exhibit outstanding teaching in the intermediate schools.

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This year’s recipients were Cecilia Valdes-Dalton from Edison Intermediate School and James Doyle from Roosevelt Intermediate School.

Valdes-Dalton is a special education teacher and has been at Edison Intermediate for 11 years. 

“She’s just one of those teachers who accomplishes more in 24 hours than most of us,” said Dr. Matt Bolton, Edison Intermediate Principal.

Doyle is a concert band teacher currently in his seventh year at Roosevelt Elementary. 

“When I had an opening at Roosevelt, James was a student teacher at Edison  I went over and I watched him teach a lesson. I turned and I said, ‘He’s who I want,’” said Stewart Carey, principal at Roosevelt Intermediate School.

Both Valdes-Dalton and Doyle said tey were humbled and honored for the recognition and thanked family, friends, colleagues and students for the honor.

The second award category was for Westfield High School Teacher Recognition. John Brzozowski (choral department), Molly Dennis (science department), Daniel Devlin (theater department) and Kevin Womack (custodial department) received honorable recognition for their service to the students and the schools.

“These four staff members that we are here to honor have shown in their own way that they will go that extra mile to give 100 percent for their students and their fellow colleagues,” said Dr. Derrick Nelson, Westfield High School principal. “These four individuals exemplify what it means to put the kids first.”