The Hillsborough Board of Education has chosen its district Teacher of the Year for 2014, and recognized several other school teachers of the year.
Triangle Elementary School's Taysha Gateau-Barrera, a Media Specialist, was selected by a panel of administrators, board members, teachers, parents and local education association representatives from the pool of distinguished teachers of the year in Hillsborough. The winner can compete for county teacher of the year, and then state teacher of the year.
Gateau-Barrera works with both students and classroom teachers to support the learning and teaching process. She is credited with fostering a love of literature, being collaborative, and embracing new technologies.
Before she joined Triangle, she was a special education teacher at Hillsborough Middle School and also Sunnymead Elementary School.
The following teachers were each recognized by their individual schools as Teacher of the Year, with comments by the Board of Education about what set them apart:
Christine Mandraccia, 1st grade teacher, Amsterdam Elementary School
"When the district puts a new program or curriculum into place, Mandraccia is quick to make it her own and adapt it to meet the needs of her students. Her instructional practices are not static as teaching is an always evolving craft. She adapts her teaching style and classroom with the ultimate focus of doing what is best for her students."
Dolores Marsicano, 2nd grade teacher, Hillsborough Elementary School
"Marsicano has a calm and gentle personality that visitors feel the moment they walk into her classroom. Her classroom demeanor allows her to get to know each of her student’s strengths and weaknesses. This not only provides the student with a feeling of uniqueness and individuality but also allows her to gear her lessons to each child’s individual needs."
Karen Armano, ASI Math, Sunnymead Elementary School
"As an ASI teacher, Armano takes pride in helping struggling learners gain confidence and a positive attitude toward learning. She has a flexible approach to working to meet the learning needs of her students. Armano employs differentiated instruction to match the individualized learning styles of her students to available instructional tools. "
Scott Preisler, kindergarten teacher, Woodfern Elementary School
"Preisler began his teaching career in Hillsborough 13 years ago and has remained an active participant in the learning community. He feels that there is no greater feeling than watching one of his students learn something new because of his instruction."
Marybeth Miele, transitional primary (TP) teacher, Woods Road Elementary School
"Miele’s teaching style is perfectly suited to her TP students. She provides her students with stability, structure, support, encouragement and creativity. She carefully balances each student’s cognitive, physical, social, and emotional needs to create a successful year for each student."
Marissa Marton, 6th grade art teacher, Auten Road Intermediate School
"Marton feels that her greatest accomplishments as a teacher are when she makes her students feel successful. When a student overcomes a challenge, she is proud to share in their joy. As a way to showcase this, Marton established an annual student art exhibit at ARIS where parents, peers, colleagues and community members are able to take part and enjoy student art accomplishments."
JoAnn Getz, 7th grade math teacher, Hillsborough Middle School
"Getz has distinguished herself as an expert in developing student confidence and ability not only in mathematics, but in the development of good character as well. When asked what she wants most for her students, Getz replied that she wants each of her students to feel important. She has been a mentor to at-risk students and also mentors students taking part in the Middle School’s Future Teachers of America program."
Christine Micu, Vocal music teacher, Hillsborough High School
"Micu devotes her school days as well as many after school hours to vocal music education. In recent years, she has created and implemented two new courses at Hillsborough High School, Women's Chorale and Musical Theatre Workshop. The choirs under her direction have earned silver, gold, excellent, and superior ratings at a wide array of adjudicated competitions. Micu is also quick to offer her assistance to help students prepare for auditions and performances for entrance to music conservatories or other institutions of higher learning."