Mahwah School Board Honors Exceptional Educators

In a recent Mahwah School Board meeting, the spotlight shone on six teachers receiving the coveted Bergen County Teacher Recognition. Simultaneously, the board addressed various district issues, acknowledging retirements, and new appointments.

The meeting kicked off with student representative Ryan Stanford reporting on school activities. Significantly, Stanford himself was applauded for receiving the NJSIAA Scholar Athlete Award.

The real heart of the meeting, however, lay in the recognition of standout educators. The board lauded six teachers: Ali Bauer, Christine Petrowski, Leonard P. Meadows, Mike Feeney, and Carol Farrell. Each was selected for the Bergen County Teacher of the Year ceremony, representing Mahwah with pride.

High praise for the educators resonated throughout the session. Ali Bauer was celebrated for her professionalism and the positive influence she has on students, while Jenny Lever’s safe, encouraging classroom environment was highlighted. Greg Alfano received plaudits for his ability to form strong connections with students, and the retiring Carol Farrell was celebrated for her commitment to mindfulness and collaboration. Mike Feeney’s daily contributions to school life were recognized, as were Christine Petrowski’s active involvement and success in inclusive learning.

Upon receiving their awards, the honored educators expressed their gratitude. Bauer commented, “To be selected amongst so many amazing teachers in Mahwah is a true honor,” and Farrell stated, “To be a Mahwah Thunderbird…and give each other lift…is an amazing lift for me as I exit Mahwah High School.”

In addition to these accolades, the board delivered updates on ongoing projects, including the nearing completion of the blood sugar replacement project and the start of the HVAC replacement at George Washington School. Four retirements were announced, including Mr. Brian Royak, a second-grade teacher at Betsy Ross School; Kathy Martinelli, an instructional paraprofessional at Ramapo Ridge; Pat DeFreeze, an instructional paraprofessional at Lenape Meadows school; and Jack Bertruniak, the district’s Pomptonian food director. Each retiree received individual praise for their contributions and impact.

New Assistant Principal Natasha Carrera was introduced among the board’s announcements. Chosen from 76 applicants, Carrera was lauded for her leadership skills and alignment with the district’s vision.

The meeting also saw recognition of various student achievements, such as selections to the New Jersey Senior All-Star baseball game and notable performances in track and field. The board also acknowledged the Mahwah High School National Honor Society’s accomplishments and the girls’ softball team’s recent victory against Dumont.

An instructional update saw the introduction of a universal screening tool, I-ready, aimed at tracking Kindergarten through third-grade students’ progress. The tool aligns with the district’s strategic plan and the board’s focus on data-driven decisions.

Finally, in a community corner update, Ms. Davinero encouraged parental involvement in the schools, highlighting the importance of volunteer time for successful school events.

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