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Burlington County Social Studies Teacher Named New Jersey 2011-2012 Teacher of the Year

Jeanne M. DelColle selected from among 21 county teachers of the year and one state facility teacher

For Immediate Release Contact: Justin Barra
   Allison Kobus
Date: October 5, 2011 609-292-1126

Trenton, NJ – The Christie Administration today selected Jeanne M. DelColle, a high school social studies teacher from Burlington County, as the New Jersey 2011-2012 Teacher of the Year. The ceremony was held at the State Board of Education meeting in Trenton.  DelColle lives in Marlton and teaches at the Westampton campus of Burlington County Institute of Technology.  The Burlington County Institute of Technology is a countywide career and technical public school district serving high school and adult students.

Pictured from left to right are:  BCIT District Superintendent Donald Lucas, State Board President Arcelio Aponte, NJ State Teacher of the Year, Jeanne DelColle, Acting Commissioner Chris Cerf, BCIT Principal, Joseph Venuto, and Interim Burlington County Executive Superintendent, Peggy Nicolosi.

Pictured from left to right are:  BCIT District Superintendent Donald Lucas, State Board President Arcelio Aponte, NJ State Teacher of the Year, Jeanne DelColle, Acting Commissioner Chris Cerf, BCIT Principal, Joseph Venuto, and Interim Burlington County Executive Superintendent, Peggy Nicolosi.

“New Jersey’s teachers are one of our most valuable educational resources,” said Governor Christie.  “An effective teacher makes school exciting and interesting.  Teachers who have a passion for what they teach and a genuine care for their students inspire students to play with ideas, think deeply about the subject matter, take on more challenging work, and even pursue a particular field of study. I congratulate Jeanne on her accomplishments.  Her creativity, patience and determination have given her students the best possible learning experience. ”

DelColle has taught in New Jersey for 15 years.  She spent six years as high school world history and anthropology teacher at Willingboro High School; one year as an 8th grade American government teacher at Memorial Junior High School in Willingboro; and has taught at Burlington County Institute of Technology since 2003.

“Teaching is an honored craft, and to this day serving as a teacher was one of the most difficult jobs that I have held in my lifetime,” said Acting Commissioner Christopher D. Cerf.  “It’s a privilege to recognize great teachers.  Jeanne’s desire to be a lasting, positive influence on her students, colleagues and community makes her a shining example of the countless outstanding educators in New Jersey.”

DelColle was previously named the 2010 Teacher of the Year for the New Jersey Council of the Humanities, was honored as the Burlington County Outstanding Woman of the Year for Education, and was named the 2010 BCIT Teacher of the Year.

“Jeanne not only teaches world history, she lives it. She’s studied in England, worked on a Bahamian Reef survey in San Salvador, served as a supervisor of an archaeological dig in Jordan, attended a teacher’s institute in New Mexico, mapped Native American sites in Utah, did environmental preservation work in Mongolia, trudged through jungles in Belize, and climbed the pyramids in Egypt and Mexico.  She inspires her students with real-life experiences and cultivates their interest in the world around them,” State Board President Arcelio Aponte said. “She is truly a credit to her profession.”

While she has been the recipient of many awards, DelColle said that her greatest accomplishment in education has been the inspiration of the next generation of teachers.

“When one of my former students told me their desire to become a teacher and said they were inspired by my example, it was both an awesome and humbling achievement,” DelColle said. “When my love for teaching inspires my students to go out into the world and help others, then I have done my job both personally and professionally.”

The New Jersey Teacher of the Year award is selected and administered by the Department of Education.  This year’s New Jersey Teacher of the Year program is sponsored by four organizations and companies that provide valuable resources for the recipient teacher.

Educational Testing Service will sponsor a six-month sabbatical from January to June 2012 for DelColle.  During this time, she will work closely with the Department of Education on special projects.  In addition, in her role as State Teacher of the Year, she will give presentations around the state and participate in national activities, including meeting the President of the United States. 

The New Jersey Education Association will pay for a rental car for DelColle to use while traveling, while SMART Technologies will provide a SMART Board.  The global financial institution, ING, will give $5,000 to the state Teacher of the Year program to help offset travel expenses. 

New Jersey’s Teacher of the Year program allows many talented teachers to be recognized. The process begins at the local level, where school and district-level teachers of the year are chosen. District Teachers of the Year have their applications submitted for competition at the county level.  Each County Teacher of the Year, selected by county-based panels of educators, has a written application and a 15 minute video submitted to the Department of Education for consideration at the state level. A nine-member panel representing state level education organizations reviews the submitted applications and videos to select finalists, who are interviewed before the State Teacher of the Year selection is made.

The county recipients are listed below:

County Name School District
Atlantic Frank Marascio Mainland Regional High School Mainland Regional High School District
Bergen Jennifer Dee Northern Valley Regional High School Northern Valley Regional School District
Burlington Jeanne DelColle  Burlington County Institute of Technology - Westampton Campus Burlington County Institute of Technology
Camden Patti McBride Ann A. Mullen Middle School Gloucester Township School District
Cape May Kelley Hogg Middle Township High School Middle Township School District
Cumberland Tara Cotton Millville Senior High School Millville School District
Essex Erica DePalo West Orange High School West Orange School District
Gloucester Lori Bathhurst Chestnut Ridge Middle School Washington Township Public School District
Hudson Kathy Kuchar Secaucus High School Secaucus Public School District
Hunterdon Sean Chappe Hunterdon Central Regional High School Hunterdon Central Regional School District
Mercer Amy Van Treuren Lawrence Intermediate School Lawrence Township Public Schools
Middlesex Terri Thompson Piscataway Regional Day School Middlesex Reg. Educational Services Commission
Monmouth Christine Delmas Wemrock Brook Elementary School Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District
Morris Andrew Buchanan Randolph High School Randolph Township School District
Ocean Michael Dunlea III Ocean Acres Elementary School Stafford Township School District
Passaic Debra Redding Maple Road Elementary School West Milford School District
Salem Peter Mazzagatti Woodstown High School Woodstown-Pilesgrove Regional School District
Somerset Karen Hoffman Auten Road Intermediate School Hillsborough Township School District
Sussex Nicholas Demsak Rolling Hills Primary School Vernon Township School District
Union Erin Devaney Dr. Orlando Edreira Academy, School #26 Elizabeth Public School District
Warren Amanda Abbiate North Warren Regional High School North Warren Regional School District
State Facility Matthew Jones Juvenile Medium Security Facility Juvenile Justice Commission

Pictures of all County Teachers of the Year are available upon request.