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For Release: October 2, 2002

Hudson County Library/Media Specialist Named
2002-03 New Jersey Teacher of the Year

When Elspeth Corrigan was an eighth-grader at Bedford Junior High School in Connecticut, she was named "Best Librarian Aide" because, in her words, she was the "best book-shelver."

Decades later, she can add "best teacher" to her list. Today, Commissioner of Education William L. Librera announced Elspeth Corrigan Moore, a librarian and media specialist at Memorial High School in West New York, Hudson County, as the 2002-2003 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year.

"Elspeth Corrigan Moore is a teacher committed to helping students on a one-to-one basis," Commissioner Librera said. "This is most exemplified in the library, where she keeps her lessons fresh and her focus on never giving up. She is an asset to her school, her local community and to the people of New Jersey."

Moore, known as Mrs. Corrigan to her students, is a 30-year veteran who remembers the name of every teacher she had from elementary school through high school. She is a woman who has successfully combined her love of reading with her love of libraries to work for 27 straight years as librarian at Memorial High School.

"The Department of Education is proud to name Mrs. Moore as Teacher of the Year," Librera said, announcing the recipient of the coveted award. "I’m quite certain she, as well as the other teachers nominated for this prestigious honor, will continue to serve students as best they can, with a passion for their profession as noticeable now as it was when they first set foot in a classroom."

Mrs. Moore is a teacher who administrators, fellow teachers, students and their parents have come to expect to simply always be there, and to always exhibit bright optimism and a sense of humor.

"Got a problem? Call Elspeth," said her principal, Matthew Sinisi in a letter to the Hudson County Teacher of the Year review panel in May. "The students, faculty and administration all love and admire (her). She continues to be hardworking dedicated and devoted. Elspeth (Moore) is a model teacher."

Moore grew up in Connecticut but has spent 30 years teaching at Memorial High School. She began her career teaching Home Economics. After three years, she moved to the library, where she cemented herself as the librarian and media specialist for the next three decades.

She and her husband, Bob Moore, live in Stockholm, Sussex County. While Corrigan took on her husband’s name in marriage, she kept the name Mrs. Corrigan in the classroom, namely because another teacher also had the last name Moore.

Bob Moore was a longtime U.S. History teacher in Wayne. He retired last year.

Elspeth Moore holds a bachelor’s degree in home economics and is a 1972 graduate of College of St. Elizabeth. She earned her master’s degree in library and information science from Rutgers University in 1977. She has taken additional courses in library science and education from Rutgers, City College of New York, Jersey City State University and St. Peter’s University.

"We are pleased to recognize this longtime teacher with deep-rooted ties to her school district and educational beliefs," said Maud Dahme, the state board of education president. "The board is committed to recognizing teachers focused on excelling in their classrooms. Elspeth Moore is a shining example of doing just that."

Her love of libraries and reading began as early as first grade. Moore said she simply wants to do for her students what her teachers did for her.

"We always went to the library, whether to get or return a book or to read," Moore said. "The library was an important part of our education."

Moore’s educational philosophy is twofold. First, she believes teachers are role models even if they are never asked to do it. She also believes that good teachers foster and accept students’ individual differences.

Such an ideal is key in the West New York school district, an Abbott special needs district with a diverse — 80 percent of the high school student body is Hispanic — high school population. Embracing such diversity is the most rewarding aspect of her job, she said.

"We see an amazing change in language skills in our (English as a Second Language) community," Moore said. "I see students come into the library who can’t speak English. But after four years they are fluent in English and going off to college. They really want to learn."

In an essay for Teacher of the Year award consideration, Moore traced becoming an educator back to her early childhood, saying it was her "only career goal."

"I had excellent teachers and role models who encouraged young people to go into education," Moore wrote. "Like many high school students in the 1960s, making the world a better place was one of my goals. It may have been an idealistic outlook. Thirty years later, I still believe individuals can make their mark on the world and change it."

In addition to her responsibilities in the classroom, Moore is an active member of the West Milford Lions Club and is currently the chairperson of the New Jersey Lions Club International Foundation. Her chief responsibility in that capacity is coordinating World Trade Center and Lions Club disaster relief funding.

Moore was recently elected District Governor for the club’s northern New Jersey region, comprising Bergen, Hudson and Passaic counties.

As New Jersey Teacher of the Year, Moore will be asked to be an advocate and role model for the teaching profession. She will also speak on behalf of teachers statewide and she will represent New Jersey in the national Teacher of the Year competition.

"I’m humbled," Moore said. "This is a great honor. It’s an honor to be a librarian and get this award. It’s honor to be from an Abbott school — a city high school."

The National Teacher of the Year is announced in April 2003 at a special ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House.

Moore was selected by a panel of judges who represent the state’s educational associations. The panel reviewed the applications of the 21 county teachers of the year and selected Moore from a field of six finalists.

As part of the award, Moore was granted a half-year sabbatical sponsored by the Educational Testing Service. The Department of Education will cover all travel costs. The department will also reimburse the West New York School District for the cost of hiring substitute teachers through December. At the request of the New Jersey Educational Association, Saturn Retailers of New Jersey have unanimously agreed to provide a Saturn for Moore’s use.

NOTE TO EDITORS AND REPORTERS: Attached is a list of the 2002-03 County Teachers of the Year.


County Teachers of the Year



Grade/Subject School
Atlantic Juanita Moore Grades 1-2 Reading Rescue South Egg Harbor Elem Sch/Galloway
Bergen Betsy Panico Grades 9, ll, 12 English No Valley Reg HS at Old Tappan
Burlington Nancy Bianco GradesK-1 Multiple Disabilities Howard Yocum Elem Sch/Maple Shade
Camden Marlene Rubin Grade 6 At Risk Charles Lewis Mid Sch/Gloucester Twp
Cape May Andrew Bristol Grade 8 Social Studies Upper Twp Middle School
Cumberland Susan Jacobsen Grades 6 & 7 Life Skills (Technology) Lakeside Middle School/Millville
Essex Sharon Cardoso Grades K-8 Lead Science Teacher Ann Street School/Newark
Gloucester Amy Lignelli Grade 7 Science Gateway Regional High School
Hudson Elspeth Moore Grades 9-12 Library Media Specialist Memorial High School/West New York
Hunterdon Kenneth Kuhn Grades 9-12 German Hunterdon Central Reg High School
Mercer Georgianna Aiken Grades 9-12 Family & Consumer Science Lawrence High School
Middlesex Christine Dawson Grades 10-12 English Highland Park High School
Monmouth Joseph Lyttle Grades 6-8 Vocal Music Clifton Barkalow Mid Sch/Freehold Twp
Morris Annette Czeterko Grade 5 All Subjects Sandshore School/Mt. Olive Twp
Ocean Karen Lederle-Foglia Grades 9-12 Special Education Southern Regional High School
Passaic Patricia Temprano Grade 3 All Subjects Thomas Jefferson Sch/Hawthorne
Salem Marilyn Mortimer Grade 12 English Woodstown HS/Woodstown-Pilesgrove
Somerset Catherine Ambos Grade 7 Life Science Somerville Middle School
Sussex Kevin Fenlon Grades 9-12 Resource Center Support High Point Regional High School
Union Paul Maloney Grade 8 American History Hillside Avenue School/Cranford
Warren Karen Barbato Grades 9-12 Special Education Warren Co Special Services School District