The Ewing Public Schools are proud to announce the recipients of the 2017 Governor’s Teacher and Educational Professionals Recognition Program awards.
The Governor’s Teacher and Educational Professionals Recognition Program was developed in 1985 for the purpose of recognizing and honoring teachers and educational professionals who exhibit outstanding performance. The motivation for this program is based on the premise that teaching excellence is one of the most significant factors impacting student achievement and the quality of public schools.
Ewing High School’s Teacher of the Year is Mr. Clifford ‘Kip’ Harrison. Mr. Harrison began his work at the high school as a Teacher of Health and Physical Education in 1995.
Mr. Harrison graduated from Rowan University with a Bachelor of Arts in Health and Physical Education in 1995 and Cabrini College with his Master of Education in Educational Leadership in 2014.
Known as a dedicated and passionate educator, Mr. Harrison has been in a variety of roles during his time at Ewing High School. He has been highly involved in the school’s athletic program, serving as Head Coach of Boy’s Baseball, Assistant Wrestling Coach (FMS), Varsity Cross Country Coach, as well as an EHS Hall of Fame Committee member/Scholarship Committee Chairman.
Mr. Harrison currently serves as the Dean of Students at Ewing High School, as well as the Coordinator/Teacher of the Alternative Learning Program, Substitute Teacher Coordinator, and ABS/HIB Backup Coordinator.
“In his time with us at Ewing High School, Mr. Harrison has always carried himself as a consummate professional,” EHS Principal Rodney Logan stated. “His driving motivation has always been the best interests of our students, and they view him as someone who is visible, accessible and there for them when needed.”
Fisher Middle School’s Teacher of the Year is Ms. Erika Freeman who is in her 17th year at the school.
Ms. Freeman received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary & Special Education from Delaware State University in 1999; she received her Master of Arts Degree in Special Education in 2000 from West Virginia University and her Master of Education in Educational Leadership in 2005 from The College of New Jersey.
Ms. Freeman began her career in 2000-01 as a special education teacher on the 6th grade Trailblazer team. She was always an advocate for the children, treating them respectfully and fairly, while making sure they achieved in the classroom. In 2005, Ms. Freeman was hired as the Dean of Students. Within this role, she has designed award programs for both students and parents and has been in the forefront of the school SOAR (Safety, Ownership, Achievement, Respect) program. She has created Wednesday activity days and continually models positive characteristics for our students to follow.
“Ms. Freeman passionately loves and supports Fisher Middle School,” Principal Barb Brower stated. “Her motto for the students, ‘If you work hard now, it will pay off later’ is one that resonates with the students into their high school days and beyond.”
Antheil’s Teacher of the Year is Ms. Brooke Levy.
Ms. Levy graduated from Rutgers University in 2005 with an undergraduate degree in Spanish, and then went on to complete her Master’s degree at Rutgers, earning her Elementary Education and Special Education degrees in 2006. Currently, Ms. Levy is a first grade self-contained Autism teacher at Antheil. During Ms. Levy’s time at Antheil, she has taught Autistic classes at the first, second and third grade levels.
Ms. Levy’s commitment doesn’t just stop in the classroom as she collaborates with staff and district colleagues in order to support Autism awareness, services and research by participating in fundraising events sponsored by POAC (Parents of Autistic Children). Ms. Levy also volunteers in after-school events such as Antheil’s Halloween Spooktakular Night, conducting fingerprinting at Antheil’s Science with a Dash of Math Night, and by attending Antheil’s Literary Festival.
“Ms. Levy sets high expectations for her students and encourages them to meet their goals daily,” Principal Jennifer Whitner remarked. “Additionally, Ms. Levy spends endless hours looking for ways to improve her student’s classroom experience. Her favorite quote is by Ivar Lovaas, ‘If a child cannot learn the way we teach; we must teach in a way the child can learn.’ Her students come to school every day excited and ready to learn!”
Mrs. Melissa Campbell is Lore’s Teacher of the Year. She began her career in The Ewing Public Schools in 1999 as a part-time Speech Language Specialist at Parkway Elementary School. In 2007, she became the full-time preschool teacher at Antheil until June of 2013 when Lore School was fortunate to have Mrs. Campbell join the staff as a preschool teacher.
Mrs. Campbell graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology and earned her Virginia Teacher Certificate, Cum Laude. Mrs. Campbell attended Rider University and received her teacher certification in Preschool–3rd grade.
Known as a knowledgeable, dedicated educator, Mrs. Campbell is a district leader in preschool education, where she emphasizes learner-based instruction, constant feedback and effective communication with parents. She has been involved in many district professional development endeavors during her time with the district.
“Mrs. Campbell ensures that parents leave each meeting knowing their child is loved and cared for, is making academic/social progress, and that there is a plan for both home and school for continued progress,” stated Principal of Lore School Ed Chmiel. “Her students, and the Lore School community, have been blessed by her work with our students.”
Parkway Teacher of the Year is guidance counselor Mrs. Birgitta Donato, who is currently in her fifth year working with the students at Parkway Elementary School. Mrs. Donato works diligently to assist students, teachers, staff and parents navigate the elementary school years and the complex academic, social and emotional issues that emerge.
Mrs. Donato attended Rutgers University, New Brunswick and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice. She then earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling at The College of New Jersey.
As a counselor, Mrs. Donato has co-facilitated the Teacher/Student Mentor Program and is the back-up Anti-Bullying Specialist. Along with a second grade teacher, Mrs. Donato has created and organized the Parkway School Pawsitive Days of Service project which is a building-wide community service project created to benefit the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen. This building-wide service project is funded by EPEF [Ewing Public Education Foundation] grants and received a Promising Practice Award in 2016 from the organization Character.org.
“Mrs. Donato was a wonderful addition to the Parkway School,” Principal Nicole Harris stated. “It is clear that she believes that all children have an opportunity for greatness; they just need support and a listening ear. The programs she has developed have had a wonderful impact on our students and school community.”