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Star Teachers: April, 2012

by Editorial Staff--Suburban Family Magazine

Cindy Johnson (pictured)
Washington Township
The township school board recently honored Johnson, of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, for all the community and school outreach projects she has launched to help disadvantaged children. Initiatives that Johnson has led at the school include gathering bicycle helmets for needy students, helping secure free and reduced eye and dental care, collecting presents at the holidays, and creating a fund to assist local families with heating bills, food and other essentials.

Erin Lawler
Lawler, a substance awareness coordinator at Seneca High School, organized the 14th annual Precious Gems 5k Memorial Run, which serves to memorialize four former Lenape Regional High School District students, including her sister, who were killed by a drunken driver, while educating others about the risks of poor decision making. Money raised from the event goes to preventive substance abuse programs and scholarships for Seneca students.

Nina Hoover
Principal Hoover, of St. Mary of the Lakes School, rallied her staff and students to celebrate Lent by giving back to the community. The school collected several boxes of cans and non-perishable foods to donate to Pennsauken’s South Jersey Food Bank in late March.

Jeffrey Moloney
Moloney, a science teacher and department chair at Delran’s Holy Cross High School, recently received a Service Award from the school’s principal for his lasting and outstanding service to the district. He recently celebrated 35 years of service to the Diocese of Trenton and was recognized for the career milestone in a ceremony in March.

Mark Gornto
The Bard’s complicated language can be tough for some students to understand, but Gornto, a drama teacher at Moorestown Friends School, brought the texts to life. Gornto, who has been leading plays at the school since 2004, directed a cast of 25 in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, instructing his actors through lessons on the play’s proper language and meanings. The students were particularly challenged by the themes and requirements of the difficult play, which opened in March to enthusiastic crowds.

Christy Marrella
Cherry Hill
Rosa Middle School teacher Marrella has been coaching her history students all year and the hard work paid off: Her team of students won the Southern Regional National History Day competition on March 24 at Rider University. The entire team, pictured here, will move forward to the state competition in May.

Cari Funk and Laura Nicholls
These two Marlton teachers banded together to support a former Marlton Elementary School student, 14-year-old Colin Hough, after he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. The teachers helped bring a fundraiser to Marlton schools, selling neon “Go4TheGoal” shoelaces to raise money for Hough’s family. So far, they’ve collected more than $2,000.

Beverly Fitzpatrick
Mount Laurel
Harrington Middle School math teacher Fitzpatrick led her seventh- and eighth-grade math students to earn top honors in the New Jersey Math League competition in March. Two of her teams of math whizzes placed first at the county level and one placed sixth in the state.

Joseph Palmucci
Mount Laurel
Palmucci, a Harrington Middle School music teacher, was recently recognized by the board of education for his outstanding leadership with Harrington’s talented music students. Two dozen students were recently chosen to the All South Jersey Orchestra, Olympic Conference Honors Band and All South Jersey Band.

Susan Blossom
As part of SPEAK Abilities Awareness Week in the Voorhees school district, which draws attention to special needs students, families and educators, Blossom received the “Road to Success Scholar Award.” Blossom teaches a self-contained special education class at Kresson Elementary School, and will be received funding for educational iPad apps and a SMART Board to help her students learn more effectively.

Lynnette Brenner
Cherry Hill
Kindergarten teacher Brenner, of Joyce Kilmer Elementary School, led her students to participate in an environmentally friendly lesson that also honored the community. Her students planted two cherry trees—one outside the Cherry Hill school and one at Kennedy Memorial Hospital—and then read from the popular Dr. Seuss book The Lorax. School parents and students raised funds to purchase the trees, which also helped kick off the town’s 40th anniversary celebrations.

Joanne Miller
This special education teacher shaved her long locks during the “Saint Baldrick’s Day” fundraiser at Haddonfield Memorial High School in solidarity with a local student’s battle with cancer. Miller donated 10 inches of hair for a wig after reaching her fundraising goal of $1,000.

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 2 (April, 2012).
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