North Hunterdon and Voorhees High Schools recently announced their selections of the Teacher of the Year and Educational Services Professional of the Year for the 2019-2020 Governor’s Educator of the Year Program.
At North Hunterdon High School, the Teacher of the Year is Summer Morris. Mrs. Morris is a World Language teacher who teaches Spanish, including the advanced level courses. She has been with the district since August 2007. She works with the elementary sending districts on world language curriculum and teaches ESL to Spanish-speaking adults at a local business. Mrs. Morris serves on several committees and is the advisor of the Spanish Honor Society. Mrs. Morris has been the force behind the “North Believes” initiative to promote a more positive and supportive culture at North Hunterdon.
The North Hunterdon Educational Services Professional of the Year is Jessica Allora. Ms. Allora is a School Psychologist on the Child Study Team. Ms. Allora started with the district in August 2006. Ms. Allora was selected for her efforts to ensure students’ unique learning needs are met and they are able to achieve and succeed while at the high school. Ms. Allora serves as an Anti-Bullying Specialist and assists faculty members with Right to Intervention (RTI) services for students. She serves as a class advisor and is a member of the School Climate Committee, through which she initiated methods to update and beautify the school environment.
The Voorhees High School Teacher of the Year is Melissa Haines. Ms. Haines is a Special Education teacher who provides instruction for students with a variety of cognitive impairments. She started at Voorhees in June 2012. Ms. Haines was a key player in launching the Unified initiative, which received national recognition in 2018 from Special Olympics. Her development of the Unified website, Unified Google Classroom, and Instagram page have allowed the mission of inclusion to spread through the school community and beyond. Ms. Haines also provides instruction for students who are peer leaders for the students in her special class program. She is also a Unified Sports soccer and track coach.
Librarian/Media Specialist, Leslie Ahrendts-Edwards, is the Voorhees Educational Services Professional. Mrs. Edwards started with the district in August 2011. She has worked to strengthen research-based writing at all grade levels over multiple disciplines. She provides in-depth instruction on selecting and evaluating resources, creating MLA/APA formatted works cited pages, and synthesizing multiple sources while constructing argumentative or expository research-based essays. Mrs. Edwards also leads teachers and students through the development of an independent novel project, which requires her to have extensive knowledge of young adult literature, best practices for reading comprehension, and strong communication with the English Language Arts teachers.
The Governor’s Educator of the Year program will announce the county teachers of the year in May 2019 with the State teacher of the year announced in September 2019.