Four Byram Hills educators were honored at the June Board of Education meeting with the Teacher Recognition Award for their outstanding commitment to education. “The purpose of this award is to really highlight special service and special commitment to our schools,” Superintendent Dr. Jen Lamia said. “We are identifying a particularly distinguished contribution that a teacher has made.” “These teachers collaborate with others in a very special way to bring new insights into Byram Hills that can really help us grow and learn.”
Recipients of the annual award traditionally address the faculty at the start of the next school year and receive $1,000 for professional development or classroom materials.
The honorees were nominated by their principal.
Coman Hill Elementary School
“Leslie Goldfarb is an outstanding teacher and a remarkable individual. As math specialist, Mrs. Goldfarb models continuous reflection on her practice,” Coman Hill Principal MaryBeth Crupi said. “She uses student work samples, assessments, and her own observations to contemplate the best strategies to introduce new math concepts,” she said. “No teaching decision is taken lightly as Leslie carefully deliberates how to reach each and every student so they can achieve at their highest potential.”
Mrs. Goldfarb also collaborates with her colleagues at Coman Hill, and she was instrumental in the successful implementation of the new math program, Investigations.
Simply put, Mrs. Goldfarb is an amazing person.
“She is so humble that she never takes credit for all the work she does behind the scenes to help everyone succeed,” Ms. Crupi said. “Leslie has helped the students, teachers, and administration succeed in so many aspects of our daily lives. From Investigations math lessons to revising IST practices to having someone listen to you and ponder next steps, Leslie is the kind of friend and colleague that everyone dreams to have at least once during their lifetime.”
Wampus Elementary School
Cathleen Oliveto is deeply devoted to Wampus and the Byram Hills District. “Throughout the years, Mrs. Oliveto has always put the care of children at the forefront of her work,” Principal Peggy McInerney said. “Mrs. Oliveto is known as a teacher who will go the extra mile for her students inside and outside the walls of her classroom. Mrs. Oliveto has celebrated wonderful events in her students’ lives, and she has been a steadfast rock for her students and their families during difficult times.”
Mrs. Oliveto is dedicated to her colleagues and has taken the lead in beautifying the school.
“Most recently, she created a display of handmade butterflies along the library/cafeteria corridor,” Ms. McInerney said. “She invited all members of Wampus to add colorful flowers to these walls. Mrs. Oliveto understands how to build a community of care, compassion and kindness.”
“Mrs. Oliveto exemplifies the District’s goal of building communities of care and compassion where service to others and kindness prevail,” Ms. McInerney said.
H. C. Crittenden Middle School
Barbara Barthelmes, the school’s library media specialist, embodies HCC’s mission of creating an active learning community where everyone is empowered to take risks and embrace rigor while maintaining a healthy mindset.
Last summer, she was instrumental in the transformation of the school library into a state-of-the-art media center, thanks to the support of the Byram Hills Education Foundation. This is a space that fosters curiosity, creativity and collaboration for students and staff alike.
“Mrs. Barthelmes dedicated long hours, sifting through books and resources to ensure that this renovation not only changed the physical appearance of the library, but also the manner in which students could utilize the resources within the space,” Ms. Lapple said. “Through these actions, she modeled risk-taking by moving beyond print materials and introducing new avenues for the H.C. Crittenden community to access information electronically.”
She has integrated her own professional learning into the fabric of the new media center. She has refined her practice with Makerspace activities and has brought the Green Screen technology to HCC. Finally, she never forgets the importance of bringing literature to life and finding organic connections to grade level curriculums.
Byram Hills High School
English teacher David Hubbs is a leader who is dedicated to the principles of continuous improvement and student engagement.
“What truly distinguishes David’s teaching is his knowledge of students as individuals,” Principal Christopher Walsh said. As a mentor teacher, Mr. Hubbs plays a key role in introducing freshmen to the Byram Hills culture.
“A student-centered educator, David’s communication with students and parents alike involve all parties in the discussion of the whole child,” Mr. Walsh said. “Well before the District formally partnered with Challenge Success, David was working to help students manage anxiety. I can think of countless hours and emails sent by David that get to the heart of what we care about in Byram-providing students with a supportive learning environment.”
Outside of the classroom, Mr. Hubbs has been stockpiling used formal wear for years as part of the Operation Prom clothing drive. This year, he supported students in the Youth Against Cancer Club by serving as one of the advisers.
The 2018-2019 recipients are Leslie Goldfarb, a math specialist at Coman Hill Elementary School; Cathleen Oliveto, a fourth grade teacher at Wampus Elementary School; Barbara Barthelmes, a library media specialist at HCC Middle School; and David Hubbs, an English teacher at Byram Hills High School.