The iLearn Charter School network recognized ten of its best teachers, among them two educators from the Paterson Arts and Science Charter School, at an award ceremony last week.
Donna Farrell, an art teacher, and Gokce Can, an English teacher, were recognized for their infectious enthusiasm that turned boring topics into fun lessons for their students with the network’s “teacher of the year” awards.
“We are incredibly proud of the accomplishments and contributions of this year’s Teachers of the Year,” Phil Patire, executive director of iSupport Education Foundation, said. “These remarkable teachers have already proven they have the capacity to help our students academically, emotionally and physiologically. We’re excited to honor them at this year’s dinner.”
The teachers were picked from the network’s four charter schools: Bergen Arts and Science Charter School; Passaic Arts and Science Charter School; Hudson Arts and Science Charter School; and Paterson Arts and Science Charter School.
Each teacher was selected by a school-based committee made up of school principal, assistant director of academics, and faculty members.
Other teachers recognized were:
- Amanda Reihard – Bergen Arts & Science Charter Elementary School – Kindergarten Teacher
- Nicole Derise – Bergen Arts & Science Charter Middle School – Science Teacher
- Craig Sommers – Bergen Arts & Science Charter – High School – Social Studies Teacher
- Chelsea Jones - Hudson Arts & Science Charter School – 1st Grade Teacher
- Kayla Blodgett – Passaic Arts & Science Charter Elementary School – Art Teacher
- Zofia Drapala – Passaic Arts & Science Charter Middle School – Science Teacher
- Heather Estonactoc - Passaic Arts & Science Charter High School – English Teacher
- Ana Hernandez – Passaic Arts & Science Charter Elementary School Clifton – Music Teacher.
The winners received a $500 gift and a $100 check from the iSupport Education Foundation. The teachers were given the awards at a recognition dinner at the Venetian in Garfield on Thursday night.
One teacher who becomes the network’s overall “teacher of the year” will receive an additional $1,000.
This is the second year the network named teachers of the year. The network operates 9 campuses that educate 3,500 students in Bergen, Hudson, and Passaic counties.