Delran Announces Educator of the Year Honorees

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Delran Township Public Schools is blessed with a sterling teaching staff in all of its schools.  The district and New Jersey Department of Education participate in the New Jersey Teacher of the Year Program and the Governor’s Teacher/Educational Services Professionals Recognition Program.  This program highlights educational innovation, student achievement, the rewards of teaching, and important services outside the classroom environment that lead to student success.  Further, it seeks to attract public attention to the positive aspects of our educational system.

The school district has engaged in a process that allows for four teachers, one educational support professional and one paraprofessional to be honored for outstanding professionalism and student support.  We are happy to honor the following staff members with supportive comments from their colleagues and our Teacher of the Year Committees.

Delran High School

The DHS Teacher of the Year Selection committee writes that as a teacher of Chemistry for the past eight years, Linda Mason has been an inspiration to countless students here at Delran High School.  She has superior intelligence and a matchless compassion.  You will not find a staff member who treats their students with as much love, kindness, and concern.   

She is a gifted educator and a valued member of the staff.  The students of Delran, past and present, often name her as one of “those teachers” that had a major impact on their lives.  Sometimes, it was sparking a passion or an interest in the sciences.  And sometimes, it was as simple as being the teacher who really cared about their well-being.  All of this speaks volumes about why there is no better candidate for this honor.

Delran Middle School

The DMS Teacher of the Year Selection Committee has recommended Michelle Fusto as the DMS Teacher of the Year.   

Mrs. Fusto is a staple at Delran Middle School. She assists students’ achievements and guides them through their struggles.  Her patience and caring heart establishes a classroom that fosters success.

       Mrs. Fusto teaches with her heart. Not only does she teach the curriculum, she teaches organization, responsibility as well as many other life lessons.  Mrs. Fusto runs a tight ship in her classroom.  Her serious demeanor does not fool her students; she makes her students feel comfortable and safe. She has created a respectful classroom environment that allows her students to grow and flourish.

Mrs. Fusto’s time is not only spent in the classroom, she can often be found after school working with students as they prepare for test, quizzes or work on classroom assignments.

Mrs. Fusto is an intricate part of the staff at Delran Middle School.  Her colleagues view her as a resource of knowledge. Mrs. Fusto is always willing to help, by listening or assisting with lessons or school events including organizing holiday collections for our support staff.

It is with great pride that we recommend Mrs. Michelle Fusto for Delran Middle School’s Teacher of the Year.

Delran Intermediate School

The DIS Teacher of the Year Selection Committee is pleased to recommend Megan Cyphers as the Delran Intermediate School 2017 Teacher of the Year.

Mrs. Cyphers has been a dedicated professional for over twenty years. She holds numerous accolades, and certifications. Mrs. Cyphers is an active member of the following committees:

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Intervention & Enrichment
  • Report Card

She is also a representative for the following:

  • DEA Paraprofessional Recognition Committee
  • Gifted & Talented Teacher
  • Summer School Administrator
  • Bears Club Language Arts Teacher
  • DIS Representative at the Lucy Calkins Reading Institute in New York City

Mrs. Cyphers is a highly motivated, kind hearted and positive teacher. She truly cares about the growth of her students both academically, and in the social-emotional arena. She makes sure that her students not only challenge themselves, but laugh and  have fun while learning. She is always there to support her colleagues and students by answering questions and lending a helping hand.

Mrs. Cyphers has also mentored three student teachers over the course of her career. Mrs. Cyphers makes contributions to the community as well, by presenting at Family Math and Science Nights, and other parent information sessions. You can even spot her at various events throughout the year supporting her students. Congratulations Mrs. Cyphers on a job well done!

Millbridge Elementary School

The Millbridge Teacher of the Year Selection Committee is proud to recognize Beth Cohen as our 2017 Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Cohen runs a student-centered classroom and works tirelessly to meet the needs of all learners. She constantly seeks out ways to improve student learning and move her students along the learning continuum.

Parents from her class shared as part of the nomination process that she is a teacher who always makes the children feel loved and special! In one of her colleague nominations, it was pointed out that beyond the classroom, she always is willing to engage in professional dialogues with her colleagues and participate in all school activities. She routinely goes above and beyond her job expectations without being asked.

Mrs. Cohen supports her colleagues as a member of the Science curriculum committee and as a member the School Improvement Planning committee. During her tenure in Delran, she was a long-standing member of the language arts committee, the mathematics committee, has served on numerous interview teams, and has hosted a number of student teachers. Mrs. Cohen is a leader in the kindergarten hallway.

Educational Support Professional

Julia Stipa has been nominated the 2016-2017 Educational Service Professional of the year.  Mrs. Stipa has done an exceptional job working with the students of Delran for many years.  Julia first worked as a special education teacher at Delran Middle School.  Her caring and compassionate personality, along with her creative educational ideas made her an exceptional classroom teacher.  Her students and her colleagues grew to love her quickly.

Mrs. Stipa is a professional that is dedicated to lifelong learning.  Continuing her educational pursuits, Mrs. Stipa earned a school counseling degree.  She is currently a Guidance Counselor at Delran Middle School.  She is a very dedicated guidance counselor that goes above and beyond for all students at Delran Middle School.  She is responsible for scheduling and advising a number of students at the Middle School and always has an open door to everyone.  Her students know that they can count on her, as do her colleagues.  She is a true advocate for all of her students.

Mrs. Stipa is not only an advocate for students on her caseload, she is a counselor to all students that need her help.  The following is taken from a nomination submitted by a parent of a current Delran student:

“Mrs. Stipa is a dedicated guidance counselor who goes above and beyond for all students at Delran Middle School.  My daughter has had some social struggles at school and needed someone to talk to and guide her.  Although she does not fall under Mrs. Stipa’s caseload, she feels more comfortable speaking to a female.  Mrs. Stipa has taken her under her wing and has maintained an open door policy with her.  Additionally, Mrs. Stipa invited my daughter to the North Stars Group that she runs after school, which my daughter loves.  She is helping my daughter to feel less isolated and gain confidence, for that I am immensely grateful.  Each time there has been a concern, Mrs. Stipa has addressed it and helped to guide my daughter and make her feel more self-assured.  Her prompt responses to my concerns demonstrate her professionalism and commitment to the well being of all students. “

Julia Stipa is a dedicated, caring and compassionate professional that is well deserving of this honor.  She is well respected by students, parents and her colleagues.  She goes above and beyond to help the students of Delran.  Congratulations to Mrs. Julia Stipa, the 2016-2017 Educational Service Professional of the Year!


Vicky Donaghy is dedicated and hard-working, coming to school every day ready and giving her all to both students and colleagues. As a paraprofessional in Mrs. Forsythe’s classroom, Mrs. Donaghy assists in  providing a safe and structured environment that allows students to experience success.

Vicki often works with students who have emotional challenges and severe cognitive disabilities, as well as students who have behavior plans. Vicky is always able to remain calm even in difficult situations. She is both nurturing and firm and has an uncanny ability to notice when a student needs a little extra attention. Students are very comfortable going to her when they are struggling with a problem or just to ask a question. Mrs. Donaghy goes into cycle classes at the middle school to help our students assimilate and be productive. She is encouraging and supportive throughout the day to everyone she comes in contact with. Her actions, both in and out of the classroom, show how much she loves the children of Delran Middle School and she is especially protective of the students in her classroom.

Vicky has worked with various teachers throughout her 15+ years and has always been an asset to the classroom. During class discussions she is willing to add her insight and opinions order to assist students. She helps students with their projects, computer work, and papers. She knows what to do and when to do it without prompting.

Mrs. Donaghy  nominates other general education students for student of the month if she sees them go out of their way to be kind and caring to the students in classrooms. She makes sure to let each and every student know that his or her actions were appreciated.

As a professional colleague, she is exceptional. She is dedicated to her job and her attendance is exemplary. Vicki can always be counted on in any situation. If the teacher is absent, Mrs. Donaghy is there to support the substitute and make sure the class runs smoothly.  She is a role model for both staff and students. Her dedication to her work as well as her positive, encouraging attitude are qualities that make her the best in her profession. Mrs. Donaghy lends a hand to students and teachers, offers a smile or a kind word, and is the biggest cheerleader for the students who stand before her each day. It is with great pride that we select Vicky as a paraprofessional of the year.

On behalf of the Delran Township Board of Education, congratulations to the honorees and best of luck in the next phases of the County and State processes for these awards.



Delran Celebrates Computer Science Education Week

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Hour of Code @ Delran 2016 Highlights

Delran Township School District celebrated the Hour of Code from December 5-11, 2016, which is Computer Science Education Week. The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics. Computer science helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity, all important skills for many of the jobs that will be available in the future.

Did you know that there are 21,235 computing jobs available in the State of New Jersey?  With only 1,535 computer science graduates and 165 schools that teach computer science in New Jersey, Delran would like to inspire more computer science college and career ready students.   DHS offers both CP Computer Science and  AP Computer Science and all students K-8 have computer skill development, including the use of Scratch at DMS.

Parents of all K-12 students were provided with information about Hour of Code and encouraged to participate with their children at home. Hour of Code Fact Sheet for Families December 2016

Students in all of our schools participated in Coding activities at school throughout the week. Hour of Code Activities throughout the district were coordinated by the district’s STEM programming co-coordinators, Mary Jo Hutchinson (K-12 Supervisor of Mathematics) and Erica DeMichele (K-12 Supervisor of Science) along with the Principals and Assistant Principals in each building. All students who participated received a personalized Hour of Code completion certificate.

  • Millbridge Elementary School (Grades K-2)
    • All students completed an online Lego coding activity during their Library class.
    • In addition, students at Millbridge participated in “unplugged” activities which support the logical thinking required for coding:
      • In PE, students practiced spatial thinking, design and engineering skills by building structures with Imagination Playground.
      • In Art, students created glyphs and transformed numerical sequence data determined by dice rolls into artistic representations.
      • In Music, students created musical compositions using instruments, made of assorted tubes at various lengths/widths.
  • Delran Intermediate School (Grades 3-5)
    • All students completed coding tutorials during two special area classes this week: Computers and Library.
    • Some 5th graders welcomed Computer Science professor Anita Wright as a special guest speaker and coded in the educational tool Alice 2.
  • Delran Middle School (Grades 6-8)
    • All students completed coding tutorials.
  • Delran High School (Grades 9-12)
    • All Freshmen completed coding tutorials during a special Activity Period schedule.
    • The Media Center was open to any Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors who wished to complete coding tutorials during all lunch periods during the week.

Delran Wins 2016 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award

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On December 7, 2016 Delran Township Public Schools was named the Clean Air category winner of the 2016 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award.  Below is information regarding this honor.

In January, 2015 Delran Township Public Schools began exploring the development and implementation of an Energy Savings Improvement Plan as a way to reduce energy use, increase sustainability and save money.  Delran chose an Energy Services Company (Schneider Electric) approximately a year ago, developed a district-wide plan and began construction this past July.

The project, which began construction in July 2016, will result in better interior and exterior lighting systems, improve temperature control by upgrading building management systems, add air conditioning at some locations, and install new roofs at two schools. Work is expected to be completed in August 2017.

The results are anticipated to reduce energy costs by 32 percent, cut emissions in half, produce 80 percent of the district’s electric needs through on-site solar, and save taxpayers $5.6 million over the next 15 years that can be used to fund other educational needs throughout the district.  

To put the impact to the environment into perspective, the work that Delran has engaged in reflects the equivalent of removing 414 cars from the road, powering 249 homes, reducing water usage by 29% all resulting in $300,000 in annual savings.  

HERE is a press release from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection and HERE is coverage regarding this work from the Burlington County Times.