Five honored as 2022 Educators of the Year

Culinary arts teacher is among winners in the Delran district

Dr. Andrew Anderson, a culinary arts teacher at Delran High School, joins district personnel and school Superintendent Brian Brotschul as one of six township teachers and professionals named winners of the Educator of the Year award for 2022.

Six Delran school district teachers have been named Educators of the Year for 2022.

Each year, educators from each of Delran’s four public schools – as well as district personnel –  are nominated as Educators of the Year. This year’s winners – named in November – are Millbridge Elementary School second grade teacher Tracy McGonigle and school psychologist Leslie Kahn-Molz, Delran Intermediate fifth grade teacher Heather Marines, middle-school special ed teacher Jennifer Lobaza, Delran High School culinary arts instructor Dr. Austin Anderson and district paraprofessional Rita Micucci.

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“I was a bit surprised because DHS Principal Daniel Finkle announced it over the loudspeaker,  and he built me up pretty well and then announced my name at the end,” Anderson said. “The students in the class clapped and cheered. I’ll be honest, even though it happened prior to Thanksgiving, I still can’t get used to being called Teacher of the Year.”

Anderson was hired at the high school in 2013, after three decades away from the Delaware Valley. He helped build its culinary arts program after it was nearly cut from the curriculum as a home economics course when he first got to the school. Having worked at two of the top culinary schools in the country, Anderson has a robust professional background that made him much in demand.

“My philosophy is I am not trying to train chefs or cooks, but I am teaching an important life skill,” he explained. “However, some of my students have gone on to culinary school or work professionally as a chef or cook locally … 

“I take pride in not just being the ‘cooking teacher,’” Anderson added. “I love Delran and I believe as a teacher, I am part of the community.”

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