Burlington Township BOE recognizes teachers, specialists of the year

The district’s principals presented awards to their respective recipients, who were met with high praise

The Burlington Township Board of Education gave the district’s principals a platform to acknowledge their top teachers and specialists at the Jan. 31 public meeting, spotlighting the efforts of their hard-working staff members with high praise.

Under the director of music teacher Steve Bishop, the Burlington Township Jazz Nouveau preceded the awards with a performance ahead of its departure to Boston for the Berklee High School Jazz Festival. The group placed first out of more than 100 schools from across the United States in 2017.

B. Bernice Young School’s Denise King commenced the Teacher and Specialist of the Year Awards with her recognition of kindergarten teacher Sheri Guzik-Lesinksi, whom King acclaimed as a skilled and dedicated educator with more than 20 years of experience.

“She is a patient, considerate and kind teacher, and is so in tune with what’s going on in her classroom, she doesn’t miss anything when it comes to her students,” King said.

Young School’s specialist of the year went to Sara Cox, a behavior specialist whom King said approaches and supports staff with respect and a positive attitude.

John Johnson, principal of Fountain Woods School, announced special education teacher Leigh Cattolico-Yago and counselor Tina Dietrich as the recipients of the awards, calling both women the most dedicated individuals he has worked with in his tenure.

Burlington Township Middle School Principal Larry Penny applauded the achievements of special education teacher Elizabeth Grande and behavior specialist Kimmberly Baker, who were presented with awards.

Burlington Township High School’s Phil Brownridge called recipients Alicia Hayes, a guidance counselor, and Kimberly Lamanteer, a social studies teacher, “tremendous advocates.”

In other news:

• The board accepted the retirement of seventh-grade teacher Tressie Kennedy, whom Superintendent Mary Ann Bell thanked for her 16 years of service to the township.

• After mounting obstacles working out a schedule that benefits the entire community, the board has finally approved the 2018–19 school calendar. Parents, staff and students can access it at www.burltwpsch.org.

“Thank you to the board of education for their considerable time in developing this calendar. Some years work very nicely, but this was a year where it did not work so nicely,” Bell said. “This is an example in which the board spends a great deal of time in public meetings to debate and discuss issues so that they can come to the best possible conclusion for the most stakeholders in the district”

• A transfer in the amount of $1,677.97 was accepted from the Burlington Township Foundation for the Current and Former Athletic Hall of Fame. The money will be applied to interest on the High School Student Activities Account.