VENTNOR – The Board of Education Wednesday, Sept. 26 recognized three teachers who have excelled as educators ensuring the success of their students and two volunteers who make learning fun.
Teachers of the Year Michele Masterman and Annette Peitzman received plaques of recognition for their achievement, and physical education teacher Gary Brinberg received a crystal apple to commemorate his retirement.
Superintendent Eileen Johnson called Masterman a “principal’s dream.”
“Michelle was the kind of teacher you would like your children to have,” Johnson said. “She was tough but she had a heart of gold. The kids knew she meant business but they also knew that if they ever needed anything in the world, Michelle would be there for them.”
Middle School Principal Rob Baker said Peitzman is the type of person who is “talented but doesn’t want any recognition.”
“You always know a great teacher in the building, because that’s the teacher that other teachers run to for ideas and support,” Baker said. “Every language arts teacher comes to Mrs. Peitzman.”
“The next candidates for teacher of the year have a high bar to attain,” board President James Pacanowski said. “Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for our students.”
Baker said Brinberg was one of the first people to assist him when he was a young principal.
“Gary has always been my go-to guy. He has such wisdom,” he said. “You’re like a sage. You give great advice and information and are able to lead – an amazing person, an amazing phys ed teach and just an amazing teacher.”
Also recognized was volunteer Ester Allen who visits elementary school students during the school year with her therapy dog, a Shih Tzu named Dino.
ESSA Coordinator Alison Ricciotti said she fears dogs, but after meeting Dino, he helped her conquer her fear.
“If you see Dino and how loving Ester is to Dino and to the children, you would know I conquered my fear of dogs, if only every dog was Dino,” she said.
Ricciotti said it was an amazing year watching children grow as Dino and Ester visited classrooms.
They will visiting the school two days a week this year, Ricciotti said.