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The Ewing Schools Announce 2020-21 Educators of the Year!

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 1, 2021 

The Ewing Schools is proud to announce the district’s recipients of the 2020-21 Governor’s Educator of Year awards. 

The New Jersey Teacher of the Year Program and the Governor's Teacher/Educational Services Professionals Recognition Program have been integrated into the Governor's Educator of the Year Program.  This updated 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. 

Ewing High School’s Governor’s Educator of the Year is Mr. John Kocubinski! 

John Kocubinski As a Family and Consumer Science Teacher at EHS, Mr. Kocubinski brings real world experience to his classroom and teaches his students all about the food and hospitality industry. In his always bustling classroom, students learn to understand the concept of teamwork in a restaurant and why it is important to learn all the facets of the industry. 

Many of Mr. Kocubinski’s students go on to work in the industry or look to continue their studies in the Culinary Arts.  Mr. Kocubinski’s prevailing attitude is “I try to make every student that enters my class feel like a Chef!" 

A Rider University graduate, Mr. Kocubinski started his career at Ewing High School in February 2015.  He is also in his 12th year teaching as a Pastry Arts Adjunct lecturer and Chef Instructor for Rowan University at Burlington County College at the Culinary Arts Center in Mt. Holly, New Jersey. He continues to share his expertise and leads by example with his work ethic on a daily basis even during the pandemic. 

“Mr. Kocubinski is an asset to our school as he provides students with meaningful learning experiences and lifelong skills in the area of Culinary Arts. In the last five years that Mr. Kocubinski has taught at Ewing High School our Culinary Arts program has grown tremendously. More and more students are interested in taking Culinary Arts and we now offer Culinary Arts II and III. Our Culinary Arts classes are some of our largest and most popular in the school,” Principal Chmiel stated. 

Mr. Kocubinski also works well with the Life Skills students making fun, challenging menus based on the students’ suggestions. Mr. Kocubinski has developed a Culinary Arts Club that has worked with the Unified Club to make pies and even hosted “A Make your own Pizza Night.” Always committed to the Ewing High School Community, Mr. Kocubinski helps prepare foods for various school events such as our Open House and Back to School Nights through his Culinary Arts Club and Culinary III students. 

Fisher Middle School’s Governor’s Educator of the Year is Ms. Sarah Burdick 

Sarah Burdick Ms. Sarah Burdick joined the Fisher Middle School staff in September of 2015 as a Language Arts Teacher after she graduated from The College of New Jersey with a Bachelor’s degree in Italian Language and Culture and a Master’s degree in Teaching.  

From her earliest days at Fisher, Ms. Burdick became known for her innovative, student-centered approach in the Language Arts classroom. 

“Ms. Burdick is truly deserving of the New Jersey Governor's Educator of the Year Award for Fisher Middle School,” Principal Maggy Hanna stated.  “In her six years as a teacher, she has significantly impacted the lives of hundreds of students. Ms. Burdick is an outstanding teacher, who puts students at the center of their learning.  Each and every day she designs instruction and activities that challenge students to read, write, and think critically.”  

Ms. Burdick's passion for teaching extends beyond the classroom.  She seeks opportunities to contribute to the school community, whether it is through participation in school committees, extra-curricular activities or providing professional development.  

Congratulations to Ms. Burdick on this well-deserved award and accomplishment from the entire Fisher School Community! 

Antheil Elementary School’s Governor Educator of the Year is Mrs. Michele Dagenais! 

Michele Dagenais Mrs. Dagenais first joined the Antheil School family in 2011 as a long-term replacement teacher.  She kicked-off her career officially at Antheil Elementary School in September of 2012 teaching as a primary grade teacher and taught in grades Kindergarten through second grade through June of 2015.  She then had a stint as an Antheil Elementary School EIS teacher for a few years before heading back to the classroom as a third grade teacher in 2018.  She is currently teaching in a first grade inclusion class for the 2020-2021 school year. 

Mrs. Dagenais graduated from Rider University with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Psychology.  

“Mrs. Dagenais strives to create lessons that are developmentally appropriate, engaging and meaningful,” Principal Kip Harrison stated. “She employs multisensory techniques to ensure she is meeting the differing needs and learning styles in her classroom.” 

Mrs. Dagenais values continuing education and is dedicated to professional growth. She participated in math and literacy book clubs and attended workshops outside the district. This past summer, Mrs. Dagenais enrolled in a 30-hour phonics course to learn best practices for teaching reading to struggling learners. 

Mrs. Dagenais is an active member of the school community. She served as an Odyssey of the Mind Coach and mentor to fellow colleagues. Mrs. Dagenais enjoys volunteering her time for school events such as the Welcome Back Picnic, Literacy Festival, and Science with a Dash of Math Night. 

“Mrs. Dagenais is a true asset to the Antheil Elementary School community,” added Principal Harrison. “Her driving motivation has always been the best interests of her students and she continually goes above and beyond when it comes to her students and their learning styles. She is hardworking, dedicated and tries to be the best teacher she can be.” 

Lore Elementary School’s Governor Educator of the Year is Mrs. Alison Price!

Alison Price Mrs. Alison Price is a proud graduate of the Ewing High School Class of 2002! 

Mrs. Price graduated from Montclair State University with her Bachelor’s degree in Family and Child Studies with a concentration in Early and Middle Childhood. 

Mrs. Price joined the Lore Elementary School family in September of 2007 and is currently a first grade teacher. 

Mrs. Alison Price is not only Lore's Educator of the Year, but she is also a product of the Ewing Township Public Schools. Mrs. Price attended Parkway Elementary School and is very proud of the time she spent as a Parkway Panther. She graduated from Ewing High School and attended Montclair State University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. Mrs. Price was first hired as a long-term substitute at Lore Elementary School in 2006 and was hired to teach second grade in 2007. Mrs. Price currently teaches first grade, where she loves to work with students to help them develop a solid foundation for a love of learning and success, especially in literacy. 

This year, Mrs. Price is teaching virtually, and parents could not be more appreciative of all that she does for her students. Whether it's the stories she reads to engage young learners, activities she plans to ignite their thinking, or the surprises she leaves on their doorsteps, Mrs. Price's passion and dedication is undeniable. 

Principal Kawalek expressed sincere appreciation for all that Mrs. Price does for the students of Lore Elementary School." Mrs. Price's determination to make a difference in the life of every student she touches is irrefutable. The energy in her classroom is palpable, it's a place where young learners are excited to go every day. It doesn't matter if she's teaching students in-person or virtually, Mrs. Price's ability to make her students feel loved, supported, and encouraged, while moving every student forward in his or her learning, is amazing to watch."  

Parkway Elementary School’s Governor Educator of the Year is Mrs. Coleen Czajkowski! 

Colleen Czajkowski Mrs. Czajkowski graduated from Rider University with her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Communication, Interpersonal Relations and a minor in Middle School with a concentration in Mathematics.  She graduated from Montclair State University with her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. 

Mrs. Czajkowski joined the Parkway Elementary School educators in September 2011.  Mrs. Czajkowski is currently a fourth grade teacher at Parkway Elementary School and has been a member of the fourth grade team for over nine years.  While at Parkway Elementary School, Mrs. Czajkowski has worked to be a staff member who is resourceful, professional and a mentor to new teachers and students.  She regularly exchanges suggestions for program improvement and instructional changes with her fourth grade team.  Trunk or Treat, Pancake Breakfast, Fourth grade concerts and Pajama Reading Night are a few of the evening family events where Mrs. Czajkowski attends to assist and facilitate activities.  

During her time at Parkway School Colleen has coached the Odyssey of the Mind team and helped to develop and facilitate the Pasta Dinner/Basket Auction which benefitted the Odyssey of the Mind team and the Instrumental Music program.  Colleen is a teacher who always has a smile on her face and cheerful greetings in her heart.  In her classroom students feel honored, respected, challenged, cared for and loved.  Even when needing to be stern Colleen does it in a way where the student is able to understand and take responsibility for their wrong choices without feeling downtrodden. 

“Since being a principal at Parkway Elementary School, I always enjoy my time in Colleen’s classroom watching her ignite a spark in her students that gets them excited about learning,” shared Principal Nicole Harris. “Her prevailing attitude is that learning is fun and we can learn from each other as we navigate this new information together. Being in her classroom is always a time for adventure and learning in academics and in student self-discovery.”