N.J. Nonpublic School Teacher of the Year announced

Susan Mascioli, a teacher at Kent Place School in Summit has been named New Jersey’s Nonpublic School Teacher of the Year for 2009 in the annual competition sponsored by the New Jersey Council for American Private Education (NJ CAPE).

The award was presented by Barbara Gantwerk, Assistant Commissioner, Division of Student Services, on Tuesday, Oct. 13, at a ceremony at the New Jersey Department of Education, Trenton.

Mascioli has taught for 14 years, six of them at the Kent Place School where she has primarily taught 4th grade. Previously, she taught in the North Plainfield School District in grades 3-5.

She possesses a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Hofstra University and a bachelor’s in English from Hofstra. She earned a master of arts in reading from Montclair State.

Additionally, Mascioli coordinates and plans the yearly fundraiser for the Trick or Treat for UNICEF program at Kent Place.

She has created a number of special initiatives at Kent Place, leading students to analyze bias statements against women. She has enabled her students to protest the marketing of such statements by a major company who designed offensive T-shirts.

Mascioli describes her greatest satisfaction as “watching my students achieve a broader sense of personal and academic confidence by the end of each school year.”

She strives to have students take ownership of their own learning and to recognize that there are no limits to what they can accomplish. She has led many community projects including the Holiday Pajama Drive for women’s shelters in Newark and Irvington.

The Nonpublic School Teacher of the Year award is conducted under the auspices of the New Jersey Council for American Private Education (NJ CAPE). Each member of NJ CAPE, which represents all major nonpublic school constituencies in New Jersey, is asked to submit a nominee for the award. That nominee has already competed within the organization of schools to achieve finalist status. Additionally, individual schools with no representation on NJ CAPE are invited to nominate members of their own staff.

The award is significant because almost one out of every six students in New Jersey is educated in a nonpublic school, a significantly higher percentage than in the nation as a whole.

Dr. George Corwell, director of the Office of Education for the New Jersey Catholic Conference and chair of the Selection Panel for this year’s Nonpublic School Teacher of the Year, commented on the experience of selecting this year’s winner:

“It is always a privilege to be a part of the team reviewing the qualifications of outstanding nonpublic school educators competing for this award,” he said.

“Parents and students in the over 975 nonpublic schools in New Jersey can be justifiably proud of the professional level and dedication of the teachers serving in those schools. Outstanding educators like Susan Mascioli should be applauded by all citizens of New Jersey for their commitment to the highest level of professional growth, as well as to quality instruction and character development for her students,” he said. “Susan Mascioli and her colleagues in nonpublic schools enhance the lives of children throughout our state, as well as benefit the communities in which they live.”

Sponsorship for the Nonpublic School Teacher of the Year was provided by the following corporate sponsors: 21st Century Learning; Catapult Learning – A Division of Educate, Inc.; Smart Tuition Management; and William H. Sadlier. Dr. Corwell noted that “these companies have shown exceptional leadership in partnering with nonpublic school educators in New Jersey, and we are grateful for their continued support of this important award.”

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