Hamilton Teacher of the Year and educational Services Professional honored at ceremony

Hamilton 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 Hamilton honoree presented by Principal Tim Beaumont.

Paige Boehme
Hamilton Primary School
Grade 1 Teacher

Hamilton Primary School is proud to recognize our colleague, Paige Boehme, as
Teacher of the Year. Paige has taught in Bridgewater-Raritan for seven years, with five
of those at Hamilton School. Paige creates a calm, purposeful classroom environment
through a combination of thoughtful lesson planning, well-organized materials and
resources, a deep understanding of the curriculum, and an individualized approach toward
meeting the needs of each of her students. As skilled a communicator as she is a listener,
Paige develops exemplary professional relationships with students, families, and staff
alike. Paige is also a lifelong learner, as demonstrated by her ongoing studies in the areas
of reading instruction and English Language Learner support. In addition, Paige is an
encouraging, inspirational mentor and an unfailingly collaborative colleague.
Paige states, “Teaching is not just a profession for me; it is a lifelong passion that fuels
me daily. I have wanted to be an educator since I spent my time before and after school
in B2 at JFK in my mom’s kindergarten classroom. The joy I feel witnessing my
students’ growth, both academically and socially, is unmatched. Establishing a warm
and comforting environment within my classroom is essential to me, as it creates a safe
space for learning and fosters social growth. I am immensely grateful for the
connections teaching has given me with students, their families, and my colleagues.
Being able to support one another within those connections and see the lasting impact
it can have is a true gift.”

Kathleen Hughes
Hamilton Primary School
School Nurse

Hamilton Primary School is proud to recognize Kathleen Hughes as our Educational
Services Professional of the Year. A Registered Nurse with over 25 years of nursing
experience, Kathleen is currently in her second year at Hamilton School. Kathleen is a
dedicated nurse and is committed to the health and well-being of the Hamilton School
community. Kathleen works tirelessly to create a healthy and safe learning environment
for all students and staff at Hamilton School. Kathleen organizes the Hamilton Medical
Response Team trains staff on being delegates, educates staff on medically fragile
students, serves on multiple committees, and collaborates with staff to send out
newsletters to keep Hamilton families up-to-date on health information. Kathleen is
also a constant source of optimism, good humor, and positivity at Hamilton.

Kathleen states, “I love school nursing because you learn new things every day, and the
opportunity for growth is unlimited. I love being able to establish relationships based
 on trust that lets me guide students and families to better health and well-being. I want
every student to feel the health office is a safe haven and comfort zone to come to when
they are sick and well. Every day I am blessed because I am given the opportunity to
work with such awesome children, wonderful colleagues, amazing Hamilton families, and the Bridgewater community. Thank you for allowing me to do a job I love and I
will continue to be the best nurse I can be on behalf of the Hamilton community.”

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