Eisenhower Teacher of the Year and Educational Services Professional honored at ceremony

Eisenhower Teacher of the Year and Educational Services Professional honored at ceremony

A celebration of the commitments and dedication of staff members in the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District was presented on Tuesday, May 4.

The Somerville Elks Lodge served as the venue for the school district’s annual—and highly acclaimed—Staff Recognition Reception.

The event was held to honor the 2023-2024 Bridgewater-Raritan Teacher of the Year and the Educational Services Professionals for all 11 schools in the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District.

A total of 22 staff members–two from each school–were honored before an estimated crowd of 175, which included administrators, board of education members, staff, teachers, and families of the honorees.

The reception was sponsored by the Bridgewater-Raritan Education Association (BREA), while the ceremony was coordinated by the energetic and valuable Suzanne Klos, the Executive Secretary to the Superintendent.

She was assisted in preparing for this elite ceremony by Terry Brown and Kaitlyn McGhee, who are Administrative Assistants in the Office of the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.

Laura Kress, the BREA President, opened the ceremony with her remarks that cited the faithfulness and devotion that are exhibited by the 22 honorees as well as the entire school district.

Superintendent Bob Beers followed Ms. Kress and touched on how “Bridgewater-Raritan is unique in that we are able to hold an event such as this.”

He applauded the honorees and the school district for “a high level of commitment to excel’ and described the teaching profession as a calling rather than a job.

Each school principal was given the opportunity to speak and introduce their two distinguished staff members–Teacher of the Year and Educational Services Professional of the Year.

Each honoree received a commemorative gift that was handed out by the Board of Education Vice President, Jennifer Loughran, and a Board of Education member, Stacey Friedlander.

Here is a summary of each Eisenhower honoree presented by Principal  Laura Bassett.

Jaclynn Hurley
Eisenhower Intermediate School
Grade 5 Teacher

Eisenhower Intermediate School is proud to celebrate Jacylnn Hurley as the 2023-2024
Teacher of the Year. Jaclynn is a proud product of the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional
School District herself and is now in her 18th year of teaching 5th grade math, science,
and social studies at Eisenhower.
Mrs. Hurley is committed to understanding each child both as a learner and as an
individual. A nominating colleague describes her as “a positive, professional advocate
for ALL of her students.” Mrs. Hurley engages students in the joy of learning as well as
in the important process of self-reflection, self-assessment, and self-advocacy. The
result is a 5th grade classroom where students believe in their own ability to master
content and to set and proudly achieve their goals. Mrs. Hurley supports her students
outside of the classroom, attending their basketball games and school events. She shows
up with boundless energy and love to support students and families from the
Eisenhower community when they are in need.
In Mrs. Hurley’s own words, “Education revolves around the teamwork of
administrators, educators, parents, students, and community members. All play an
integral role towards positive and successful educational journeys.” Mrs. Hurley’s vision
of teamwork as the means to a successful end for all of our students is evident in her
daily interactions and efforts to collaborate with colleagues, caregivers, and students to
work towards a common goal. Eisenhower School is made better through Jaclynn
Hurley’s influence. She exemplifies professionalism and collegiality and leads by
example as a collaborative and dedicated colleague.

Tara Rutkowski
Eisenhower Intermediate School
Instructional Assistant

Eisenhower Intermediate School is proud to nominate Tara Rutkowski for Educational
Services Professional of the Year. Tara has served the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional
School District as an instructional assistant for three years. This year, she supports our
new specialized classroom for students with emotional regulation impairment
disabilities, stepping in as an emergency substitute for the program at the start of the
school year.
According to a nominating colleague, “Tara has the unique ability to connect with
students facing behavioral challenges. Through her patient and empathetic approach,
she creates an environment of trust and understanding. What sets her apart is an
unwavering dedication to seeing the best in her students, even when they are presenting
behavior that is “less than.” All of Tara’s Eisenhower colleagues observe these qualities
on a daily basis and see the true connections that she develops and nurtures with her
students. Additionally, Mrs. Rutkowski is a supportive and collaborative colleague, who
never hesitates to jump in to provide assistance whenever and wherever needed
throughout our school. One of Mrs. Rutkowski’s students shared, “Mrs. Rutkowski is
the best. She always helps me and knows when I need to take a break.”
Mrs. Rutkowski is exceptionally skilled and dedicated to her students and to our overall
school community. She is admired, respected, and appreciated by her students and their
families, as well as by her colleagues and administrators. Eisenhower Intermediate
School is proud of Tara for this recognition and grateful she is a member of the
Eisenhower School team.

Listed below are the 22 staff members who were honored.

Teacher of the Year Award - 2023-2024
Alexandra Pelligrino, Adamsville, Special Education Teacher
Susan Winters, Bradley Gardens, Grade 2 Teacher
Kimberly Kaminsky, Crim, Special Education Teacher
Paige Hering-Boehme, Hamilton, Grade 1 Teacher
Angela Randazzo, John F. Kennedy, Grade 3 Teacher
Bryan Smith, Milltown, Physical Education Teacher
Megan Rutkowski, Van Holten, Grade 1 Teacher
Jaclynn Hurley, Eisenhower, Grade 5 Teacher
Taryn Prince, Hillside, Grade 6 Special Education Teacher
Ashlen Udell, Middle School, Teacher of Music
Hsiao-yu Lin (Sherry) Griggs, High School, Teacher of Music

Educational Services Professional Award - 2023-2024

Deborah Calabrese, Adamsville, Speech Language Specialist
Puja Arora, Bradley Gardens, School Counselor
Monica Hammond, Crim, Elementary Teaching Specialist
Kathleen Hughes, Hamilton, School Nurse
Holly Gibson, John F. Kennedy, Intervention Specialist
Stephanie Campisi, Milltown, School Counselor
Sarojini Panwar, Van Holten, Instructional Assistant
Tara Rutkowski, Eisenhower, Instructional Assistant
Maria Giardella, Hillside, Learning Disabilities Teaching Consultant
Rosalia Finazzo, Middle School, Instructional Assistant
Lauren Amisial, High School, Student Assistance Counselor
 Linked below is the program that features the background of each of the 22 honorees.


BRRSD 2024 Staff Recognition Reception Program