RPSD Names The 2017-18 Governor’s Educator Of The Year Recipients

The Roselle Park School District (RPSD) honored five teachers and four service professionals as the district’s Governor’s Educator of the Year Program at the May 12th Board Of Education (BOE) meeting.

RPSD Superintendent Pedro Garrido introduced each recipient providing some information on each. Mr. Garrido started out by stating, “The number one factor for determining student achievement [is] a good teacher in the classroom. By the time students graduate high school, they will have spent an average of 10,000 hours in school being instructed by more than 30 teachers . . . That’s just to give you a perspective of how important a good teacher is.”

The five teachers selected as recipients of the 2017-18 Governor’s Educator of the Year Program were:

  • Jean Erbeck
  • Kimberly Lopes
  • Alexandra Martinho
  • Jacquelene Padovano
  • Matthew Spricigo

The School Superintendent commented on each teacher.

Jean Erbeck
(First grade teacher at Robert Gordon Elementary School)

This year . . . let her grow as an educator as she shared her knowledge and passion for teaching. This year she was part of school wide committees. Also she created a project around the Winter Olympics that offered students an opporunity to study countries and cultures. This was a fun project that truly made it for fun learning. This year, Mrs. Erbeck used Class Dojo as well to communicate with parents and it was very successful. This has led to a big change in parent involvement in her class.

Kimberly Lopes
(Self-contained special education teacher at Roselle Park Middle School)

Mrs. Lopes’ favorite thing about this year was the students’ sense of humor, their honesty, and the relationships they formed with each other. Her students gave her an education as much as she gave to them and she’s eternally grateful for that. She has fond memories of the community-based trips, the life-skills lessons with cooking every Friday, and the hands-on learning environment. Each individual student exceeded academically beyond her expectations and she is so proud of the confident happy students they have become since September.

Alexandra Martinho
(Fourth grade teacher at EJF/Aldene Elementary School)

She had a new experience this school year moving from third to fourth grade. This gave her an opportunity to continue building on the relationships with her students . . . This opportunity made this year so much more fun for Ms. Martinho. She was able to really target students’ needs and make special connections with them for two years in a row.

Jacquelene Padovano
(First grade teacher at Sherman Elementary School)
This year Mrs. Padovano made an adjustment moving from fourth grade to first grade after four years at that grade level. It has been her privilege to adapt to teaching the younger students to meet their needs. She feels honored to watch them learn and grow and knowing that she has instilled a love for learning that set them on a path for future success at an early age. She feels proud to be an educator of first grade students.

Matthew Spricigo
(History teacher at Roselle Park High School)
Mr. Spricigo truly has fun teaching history in particular the Old West Olympics competition and the Civil War surgery demonstration. The students really enjoyed those lessons. He is also proud of the care packages for soldiers program. The class has sent over 1,000 pounds of supplies to soldiers and sailors overseas.

The following were recognized as recipients of the 2017-18 Governor’s Educator of the Year Service Professional Recognition Award:

  • Rebecca Latawiec
  • Brenda Litterer
  • Tara McDonald
  • Wendy Ozeri

Mr. Garrido also offered a few words on the service professionals recognized that evening.

Rebecca Latawiec
(Basic Skills Teaching / Aldene Elementary School)
This year, like all of Mrs. Latawiec’s previous years in teaching, she closes out the year with a sense of accomplishment. In her role as a basic skills teacher she takes pride in continuing to build rapport with her colleagues ands she loves spending every second with her students who she adores. This year the benchmark testing highlighted another successful year in which her students all increased in leaps and bounds in both math and reading skills. Some increased as much as seven reading levels. This year she initiated a reading challenge program for grades 2 to 5 increasing reading school-wide. Ms. Latawiec continues to sit on several committees.

Brenda Litterer
(Nurse / Roselle Park Middle School)
Ms. Litterer was honored to be selected as a recipient for this year’s Governor’s Educator Of The Year Service Professional Award. It has been a pleasure to take care of the health needs of the students in Roselle Park. She works with them every single day.

Tara McDonald
(Speech & Language / Robert Gordon Elementary School)
Ms. McDonald has been in the field of speech and hearing for 23 years. She has spent ten of those years dedicated to public education and the last six here in Roselle Park. She truly enjoys it and is proud to work with all grade levels of students from pre-k to high school. She enjoys staying current in her field and applies evidence-based practices to her work with her students.

Wendy Ozeri
(ESL Teacher / Sherman School)
Ms. Ozeri is honored to be named Sherman Elementary School Governor’s Education Service Professional Of The Year. She is proud to be able to support the school’s English language learners and she does it every year with the same passion as when she started.

More information on the New Jersey Governor’s Educator Of The Year Award can be found on the New Jersey Department Of Education website (link).