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District Teachers, Paraprofessionals, Feted At Annual Breakfast

Nineteen district teachers and paraprofessionals were honored May 19 during the district’s annual Educators of the Year breakfast at the Imperia on Easton Avenue.

The honorees are recognized under the Governor’s Educator of the Year program.

“Today we gather to celebrate the successes of a group of amazing public Franklin Township educators,” schools Superintendent John Ravally said. “These professionals have dedicated much of their time and energy in helping our students reach their individual learning potential.”

Board of Education president Nancy LaCorte said that it was a “privilege to be able to say thank you again and again and again.”

Nick DiMeglio, of the Franklin Township Public Schools Parent Organizations Presidents’ Council, said honoring teachers should be done every day “because every one of this group is nothing short of amazing. You have all risen and gone above and beyond.”

“What’s most important is that you’ve given our children a safe environment to learn and share,” he said. “For this we thank you.”

Wendy Riga, also from the Presidents’ Council, said, “There’s really no words to describe the appreciation we have.”

Here are the educators and educational services professionals (ESPs) honored, by school:

Pine Grove Manor School

  • Teacher: Keith Stewart

MacAfee Road School

  • Teacher: Meghan Cathcart
  • ESP: Patricia Kropiewnicki

Hillcrest School

  • Teacher: Carmela Wands
  • ESP: Kecia Banks

Franklin Park School

  • Teacher: Tara Hanas
  • ESP: Nancy Kusmick Vega

Elizabeth Avenue School

  • Teacher: Jennifer Schellenberg
  • ESP: Abigail Schmidt

Conerly Road School

  • Teacher: Kevin Osman
  • ESP: Dr. Lisa Marquette

Claremont Elementary School

  • Teacher: Emily Piereth
  • ESP: Elizabeth Mendez-Arana

Franklin Middle School – Sampson G. Smith campus

  • Teacher: Jessica Ding
  • ESP: Robert Porter

Franklin Middle School – Hamilton Street campus

  • Teacher: Holly Harris-Vadell
  • ESP: Elizabeth Scafidi

Franklin High School

  • Teacher: Dashaun Gourdine
  • ESP: Jessica Cullen

The Franklin Reporter & Advocate live-streamed the event in two parts:

Part 1:


Part 2:


Here are some pictures of the event:



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