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Six named Educators of the Year in Palmyra

School district counselor, social worker among honorees

The Palmyra school district has honored six people with the 2023 New Jersey Governor’s Educators of the Year awards.

“I was very honored and excited to be chosen,” said Charles Street School educator Lisa Eckhardt. “There is nothing I like better than helping children and putting a smile on their faces.”

Eckhardt was one of the three education services professionals announced as winners on Dec. 22. She was joined by Palmyra Middle School counselor Kyra Denish and Palmyra High School social worker Mitchell Leysath.

One teacher and one ESP are selected annually from each of the three schools in the district,  and are recognized on the school district website’s Hall of Honored Educators page. As stated on the official New Jersey website, “This program promotes a culture that recognizes excellence, creates a sense of pride, and brings public attention to the work of outstanding educators.”

“I was both shocked and super excited at the same time,” said Palmyra Middle School sixth grade math teacher Matthew Bowen. “I work with so many dedicated educators that I didn’t even think about the possibility of receiving this award this year. It was quite unexpected, but it is an extreme honor to be chosen.”

Also honored as instructors were Charles Street School kindergarten teacher M. Lynn Mills and Palmyra High special ed teacher Michele Trefz. All Educator of the Year winners were cited at December’s board of education meeting and will continue to be honored as the 2022-’23  school year progresses.

“My goal every school year is to get better and more efficient as an educator,” Bowen noted. “This has not been an easy task the last couple of years, so I take a great deal of pride being recognized amongst so many amazing educators at the Palmyra Middle School.”

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