The Delran Township Public Schools annouces its newest members of the Governor’s Teacher of the Year award! Please read below about Stacy Juliani, Laura Spaeth, Michelle Fiorini, Caitlin Como, Rose Larson and Brian Croly. All honorees will be recognized by the Delran Township Board of Education on January 22, 2018.
Millbridge Elementary School Educator of the Year: Stacy Juliani
We are truly pleased to announce Stacy Juliani as the Millbridge Elementary School 2019 Teacher of the Year. Stacy is a 2nd-grade special education inclusion and pull-out resource teacher.
As an outstanding educator, she works diligently to help her students make significant academic gains, but more importantly, she nurtures students who may be having difficulty socially or emotionally so they are able to develop the skills to be successful members of our learning community. Every interaction she has, whether it is with students, parents or staff, is filled with the compassion and patience. Stacy truly sees the best in every person and works diligently to help her students be the best version of themselves that they can be.
Stacy shares her expertise and knowledge in many capacities. She is a member of the Science committee, the building’s leadership team and has served on the I&RS team for the past several years. Stacy also chairs our building’s philanthropy committee, supporting our own Millbridge community and families and many worthwhile organizations including the Red Cross, Knights of Columbus and the GI Go Fund.
In her nominations, one of her colleagues stated that “ she is genuinely the kindest person that she has ever met”. She was applauded in all nominations received for going above and beyond every day. These sentiments were echoed by a parent who shared that “she is the quintessential teacher and did everything she could to help my sons and his parents learn to navigate his learning challenges.”
It is for the reasons and many more that we are proud to recognize this year’s Teacher of the Year….Mrs. Stacy Juliani.
Delran Intermediate School Educator of the Year: Laura Spaeth
Mrs. Laura Spaeth has been a dedicated professional at DIS since 2006. During her years here, Laura has been an integral member of the school community. She has served on the Language Arts and Science Committees. In addition, she has proven to be an extremely flexible and versatile educator. She has taught in general and special education settings, as well as in multiple grade levels at DIS. Laura was a looping teacher two different times. She had to learn a brand new curriculum when heading down to third grade, and find ways to motivate the same group of students two consecutive years. This is no easy task, yet Laura achieved great success.
Mrs. Spaeth is an extremely positive presence here at DIS. She is a teacher who is well respected by administration, her colleagues, and parents. Most importantly, she inspires students of all backgrounds and abilities in her classroom. Through Laura’s nurturing nature, she fosters an environment where every child feels respected and cared for. Students feel confident to take risks and enjoy learning in her class. Mrs. Spaeth’s passion for teaching is contagious and her rapport with her students is second to none. Not only does Mrs. Spaeth excel in meeting the emotional needs of her students, she is also an exceptionally skilled educator who sets high expectations for her students and provides them a rigorous education. Laura Spaeth is truly deserving of this honor. Congratulations Mrs. Spaeth on a job well done!
Delran Middle School Educator of the Year: Michelle Fiorini
Ms. Michele Fiorini is an exceptional language arts teacher. Ms. Fiorini is a wealth of knowledge in the world of reading and writing! She is firm, but kind, setting high expectations for her students. Ms. Fiorini is passionate about reading and writing. Her passion is relayed to the students and they too develop a love for reading, while becoming strong writers. Ms. Fiorini has established a classroom that is comfortable and students are supported and respected.
Ms. Fiorini’s responsibilities don’t end in the classroom. As a team leader for Team 7B, she organizes trips, activities, communicates with parents and supports the fellow educators on the team. As a language arts subject area leader, Ms. Fiorini assists Mrs. Baker, the language arts supervisor, with day to day needs at Delran Middle School. Ms. Fiorini guides and supports her colleagues as a Delran Education Association head representative. She is always willing to go the extra mile. The most favorite hat she wears, is that of the cheerleading coach. Ms. Fiorini shares her knowledge and excitement with the cheerleaders of DMS. Together, they support the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams. Ms. Fiorini is an all-around educator!
Ms. Fiorini exemplifies a true educator. She surpasses the criteria for the nomination. It is with great pleasure that I recommend Ms. Fiorini for Delran Middle School Teacher of the Year.
Delran High School-Educator of the Year: Caitlin Como
Mrs. Caitlin Como is a spectacular choice for this award due to her dedication and care for her students and profession. A conservative radio pundit on 101.5 one day made the comment “If teachers taught like they were being observed everyday, we wouldn’t have an education crisis.” We wish that pundit would find his way to Room 218 because we are blessed to have a teacher, Mrs. Cait Como, who performs to the highest degree every day, every period.
It is not uncommon for her to reach out to colleagues on the weekend asking their opinion on a primary source or seeking feedback for a historic simulation. She plans all lessons carefully to not only engage her students, but also prepare them for the rigors of the Advanced Placement curricula. She has so much energy and passion about World History and Holocaust and Genocide Studies which makes the class both interesting and fun.
There is never a dull moment and students learn a great deal in her class. Outside of the classroom, Mrs. Como has done so much to breathe new life into electives, and has helped to re-energize both Student Council and Mock Trial. She truly cares about her students and is supportive of their ideas and goals. She is always there if anyone needs help and support, either student or staff. She is affable, funny, and an important member of the DHS staff. Delran staff and students are lucky to have her as a resource!
Paraprofessional of the year–Rose Larson
Rose Larson has worked in the Delran school system for 17 years, many of these them working 1:1 with a special needs child. For the past several years, Mrs. Larson has worked at DHS in many classrooms with a variety of students and staff. She always goes out of her way to assist all students regardless of their learning level. When working with students, she is always kind and supportive. She has a positive attitude that makes students seek out her assistance. I have seen Mrs. Larson help and support students that are not in any classes with her, but they come to her knowing that she will help them with a math assignment or study for a test. Mrs. Larson is also a big supporter of DHS sports and activities and is seen at many DHS sporting events.
District Educational Service Professional of the Year–Brian Croly
As a member of the DHS Guidance Department, Mr. Croly spends his days working directly with students on everything from academic counseling to scheduling to the college application process, and he has coached many students in various sports–both on an official and a volunteer basis–over the course of his tenure at DHS. Beyond that, however, students seek out Mr. Croly when they need help with personal issues they’re having both in and out of school. He is approachable, trustworthy, and compassionate, and I know first-hand that students appreciate his willingness to listen and his thoughtful responses to their questions and concerns.
Mr. Croly is also a member of the Burlington County Crisis Response Team, a role that requires him to respond to crisis situations both in our school and in other districts in the area. He helps students and staff cope with deaths and other devastating events, and his help in such situations is something that people remember and appreciate for years. Classroom teachers do have experience dealing with students’ personal struggles—but also find it difficult to truly understand the emotional impact that being a crisis response team member must have on the professionals who voluntarily put themselves in these situations. They are responsible for making sure students and staff are okay–but seldom do people think to ask the counselors themselves if they’re okay. Counseling is a selfless endeavor, and we know that Mr. Croly always puts others’ needs before his own.
Though Mr. Croly’s primary responsibility is to serve his students, he is widely respected as a colleague by the DHS faculty and staff. He has participated, over the years, on many building- and district-level committees, and he is someone his colleagues confide in because of his experiences and his approachability. He is a building representative for the Delran Education Association, and in that role, he has worked to represent the association’s members and facilitate and maintain positive relationships with all stakeholders in our district. He is always fair, objective and diplomatic in his approach, and as with every other aspect of his job, he understands that the best and most meaningful progress toward our collective goal of student success is made through collaboration and partnerships.
Overall, Brian Croly is an invaluable member of the DHS staff and a true advocate for the students in our district. He is a humble and consummate professional who never seeks or expects recognition, but he undoubtedly deserves to be honored as this year’s Educational Services Professional of the year.