NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – The Board of Education (BOE) recognized this year’s Teacher of the Year Award recipients at its Thursday, April 29 meeting. The Teachers of the Year are Jennifer Pasuit (NPHS); Kristin Jakubowski (NPMS); Sharon Licari (AWR); and Natasha Feliciano-Allen (SBS). High School and Middle School Principal Brian Henry presented the awards to Pasuit and Jakubowski. Allen W. Roberts School Principal Robyn Greenwald and Salt Brook School Principal Jean Drexinger presented the awards to Licari and Feliciano-Allen respectively.
This school year Pasuit has taught Biology, Biological Science, Neuroscience of Animal Behavior, and Forensics. She also took on the role of Educational Technology Specialist. “Ms. Pasuit’s daily approach of ‘what can I do to help,’ shows her commitment, dedication, and willingness to want to help others in and out of the classroom,” Henry said.
“Ms. Jakubowski has been a leading teacher in the Middle School Social Studies Department for many years. Her love of history is infectious and she is able to bring excitement and enthusiasm to her teaching each and every day. Ms. Jakubowski commits herself to finding engaging and exciting resources for her students to enhance the lessons and the learning. Students are engaged in the learning process through Ms. Jakubowski’s instructional delivery and daily approach,” Henry said. Furthermore, he touted Jakubowski’s ability to establish a welcoming and friendly classroom environment that is conducive to learning and which enables her to connect with her students thus creating a positive rapport and a trusting relationship.
“Not only does Ms. Jakubowski make every effort to ensure her students are successful academically, but she takes an invested interest in their social and emotional needs. She truly cares about her students and this is reflected in her communications with students and families,” Henry continued. In addition to classroom teaching Jakubowski has been involved with the MS ScIP Committee, Bell Schedule Committee, Pandemic Response Team, School Climate Team, and has acted as a teacher mentor.
“Mrs. Licari is a BSI (Basic Skills Instruction) teacher and is a tremendous asset to our school community. During the hybrid model, Mrs. Licari was flexible and assumed the short-term role as special education teacher in order to fulfill a vacancy for a teacher on leave. Mrs. Licari willingly assimilated herself into this role, and collaborated with colleagues and administrators to ensure the continuity of instruction for these students. When it was time to transition back into her assigned role as a BSI teacher, Mrs. Licari made sure to communicate with the returning special education teacher to ensure a smooth transition from an instructional standpoint, and also for the students and their families,” Greenwald said.
“As a teacher, Mrs. Licari connects with her students, and genuinely cares about their academic progress as well as their social emotional wellbeing. Mrs. Licari utilizes best instructional practices in order to differentiate instruction and taps into various learning styles. Along with this, she has embraced technology in the hybrid classroom, and utilizes tools that enhance student learning and contributes to her success with students. Mrs. Licari makes every instructional minute count, and she follows through with ongoing progress with every student. Mrs. Licari also extends her time outside of the classroom helping students during Title 1 after school virtual learning program,” Greenwald added.
“When you walk into Mrs. Feliciano-Allen’s classroom you immediately feel excitement. No matter when you visit, Mrs. Allen’s students are engaged, focused, and most importantly having fun! She is a truly inspirational teacher who strives to ‘be the best’ and always brings out the best in her students. Mrs. Feliciano-Allen has very high expectations and gives each and every one of her students the confidence needed to succeed, Drexinger said. She added: As William Arthur Ward once said, ‘The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires’ as the quote exemplifies Feliciano-Allen.
Both the Allen W. Roberts and Salt Brook School students joined in a video clip celebrating the respective school’s Teacher of the Year.