History teacher Gerry Sherlock was granted the award.
By Melissa Riker
Seneca High School named Gerry Sherlock the 2019–2020 Teacher of the Year for his dedication as a U.S. History 1, U.S. History 2 and American Government teacher.
Sherlock’s love for history dates back to when he was a child, hearing stories from his grandmother passed down from generations before.
As he grew older, he discovered he performed well in his history classes, and by the time he was a freshman in college, he decided that is what he wanted to pursue as a career.
Sherlock graduated from Rowan University in 2002 with a history and secondary education degree, first gaining a position as a long-term substitute teacher at Cherry Hill High School West.
About six months later, Sherlock secured a full-time position with Seneca when it opened its doors in 2003.
Marking his 16th year at the school, Sherlock said he feels very lucky to work in an environment as supportive as Seneca’s.
“People really come together to help out one another here,” Sherlock said. “There’s always that feeling that people are here for you, people have your back. They genuinely care about your well-being, both in the classroom and outside of the classroom.”
Sherlock previously taught world cultures, foreign affairs, current affairs and constitutional law as a means of exploring all aspects of history. He is also the assistant track coach and previously coached cross country.
He said working is enjoyable because of the great educators and students he gets to connect with on a daily basis.
He described his students as “genuinely nice kids,” and said he keeps a stack of thank-you letters students have given him over the years, which he reads when he’s having a tough day or if a lesson didn’t go as planned.
“It keeps you going because you know that there are students you’ve made an impact on. That’s what the job is about,” Sherlock said. “If you’re not learning from the students, and you aren’t continuing to learn — that’s what you should be doing as a teacher.”
Sherlock found out he was named teacher of the year during what he thought was just a typical faculty meeting. To his surprise, he was given the award and was joined by his wife Jaime and children Cian, Braeden, Maeve and Finn.
“There are so many really great teachers here, we have all these individuals’ pictures hanging in the hallway that have won it in the past, I was unbelievably appreciative of it,” Sherlock said. “The teachers work very, very hard. Just to get the award, when there are so many people to choose from, it’s a great experience.”