High School Teacher of the Year and Educational Services Professional honored at ceremony

High School 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 High School honoree presented by Principal Dan Hemberger.

Hsiao-yu Lin (Sherry) Griggs
Bridgewater-Raritan High School
Teacher of Music

Bridgewater-Raritan High School recognizes Ms. Hsiao-yu Lin (Sherry) Griggs as the
Teacher of the Year. Ms. Griggs, has been a Music Educator for 25 years and has
served the high school for six years as a music teacher and orchestra director. Ms. Griggs
has always gone out of her way to make sure that kids of all levels of musical ability feel
confident and comfortable with their skills. Ms. Griggs brings out the best in her
students and colleagues.
Ms. Griggs also makes an important contribution to the broader orchestra community.
She is an active participant with the Central Jersey Music Educators Association. As a
result, the high school orchestra is fortunate to participate in the Central Jersey Regional
Orchestra Festival and frequently hosts CJMEA events. At last year’s festival, the BRHS
Symphony orchestra received the highest possible rating. She has also volunteered her
time to introduce a new after-school orchestra club, “Piu Vivace,” which is open to all
orchestra students of any playing ability. The club gives students new and fun playing
opportunities in large and small string ensembles that are organized by students.
Ms. Griggs states, “I am extremely surprised and honored. Many teachers in our school
deserve this recognition. I am so honored that the parents, students, and colleagues
would think of me and take the time to nominate me for this prestigious recognition.
Thank you everyone for your support and encouragement.”
Bridgewater-Raritan High School is fortunate to have such an outstanding teacher to
guide our students.

Lauren Amisial
Bridgewater-Raritan High School
Student Assistance Counselor

Bridgewater-Raritan High School recognizes Ms. Lauren Amisial as the Governor’s

Educational Services Professional of the Year. Ms. Amisial has served Bridgewater-
Raritan High School for the last eight years, and a total of 17 years in her career as a

Student Assistance Counselor (SAC). Her work ethic, student advocacy, emotional
support and management skills make Ms. Amisial an exceptional representative for the
high school.
Ms. Amisial takes great pride in the accomplishments of her students and continuously
searches for ways to support and challenge them. She serves as a liaison for students
experiencing family, academic, or social concerns. She is an advocate for her students
in every situation and initiates meaningful plans, including proactive programs and
services to not only help students but also support teachers and families in helping
students. To juggle all of these responsibilities effectively requires significant
professionalism, time management, compassion, patience, and composure. Ms. Amisial
excels in all of these areas and she maintains a positive attitude while she is managing
very high levels of work-related stress every day.

One of Ms. Amisial’s colleagues recognizes her contributions by stating, “Ms. Amisial
has been a valuable asset to the BRHS community. Her ability to connect with students,
provide insight and resources to parents, and to collaborate with other staff to best
support students is second to none.”
Ms. Amisial states, “They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you
made them feel." Bridgewater-Raritan High School students and staff are fortunate to
have such a dedicated and compassionate Counselor.

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