Kimberly Dickstein Hughes, an English Language Arts teacher at Haddonfield Memorial High School in Camden County, has been named the 2019-20 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year. Dickstein’s love for learning begins with her teachers, students, colleagues, and community.
Dickstein Hughes, who was awarded the 2019-20 Camden County Teacher of the Year, grew up in Camden County and attended Voorhees Township Public Schools and Eastern Camden County Regional School District. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English and Political Science from Rutgers College in 2008 and a master’s degree in English Secondary Education at Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Education in 2009. Dickstein Hughes has not only taught for 11 years for the Haddonfield School District, but also conducted her teaching internship there. During her tenure, she has continued her professional development in Shakespeare studies at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Oxford University, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Utah Shakespeare Festival.
“The Association is so incredibly proud of Kim,” said Rachel Gould, co-president of Haddonfield Education Association (HEA). “A walk by her classroom on any given day has students out of their seats bringing books to life as she engages her students in ways far different than the traditional classroom many of us experienced as students. The work she does outside of the classroom with her students at Shakespeare readings, the Victorious Foundation, and with her philanthropic endeavors has empowered her students to become lifelong learners. Kim enables all of us to see how big the world is and what our impact can be on it.”
“Kim connects on a level with her students that allows them to understand how they can change the world and make an impact,” said Sean Sweeney, co-president of HEA. “They have seen the change she has made and that change has inspired countless others to embark on a journey that is bigger than them and work diligently for change.”
“You could not have chosen a finer more deserving educator for this award than Kim Dickstein Hughes,” said Dr. Lawrence Mussoline, superintendent of Haddonfield Public Schools. “Kim has one speed—100 mph. To say she goes above and beyond what is expected of a typical teacher in our profession is an understatement. She instills confidence in her students every day. She delves deeper than most into inquiry, and, in the case of caring about and raising money for a former child soldier in Sudan, she brings content to life for her students. We are lucky to have her on staff, and New Jersey is lucky to her as the 2020 Teacher of the Year.”
“NJEA is proud to partner with the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) and Educational Testing Services (ETS) on the Teacher of the Year program, highlighting these inspiring individuals,” said Sean M. Spiller, vice president of NJEA and the officer liaison to the Teacher of the Year program. “We have outstanding educators in New Jersey and the Teacher of the Year candidates continually show just how impressive they really are. We congratulate Kimberly Dickstein Hughes on this amazing honor. She has certainly earned this distinction, and we know she will serve as an exemplary representative of the educational excellence in our New Jersey public schools.”
Dickstein Hughes will be a featured speaker at the 2019 NJEA Convention. She will be speaking at the Celebration of Excellence on Thursday, Nov. 7 at 1:15 p.m. at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Hall A.
As the New Jersey Teacher of the Year, Dickstein Hughes will have an all-expense paid, six-month sabbatical from January through June 2020 to attend national and state conferences, tour the state visiting classrooms and work on various initiatives at the New Jersey Department of Education, courtesy of program sponsor ETS. ETS also provides a new laptop computer. NJEA will provide a rental car, equipped with EZ Pass, to help her travel to speaking engagements and meetings across the state. NJEA also will provide complimentary access to all major NJEA workshops and training opportunities, a $500 clothing allowance, media training and communications support, and funding for a trip to Washington, D.C. to meet with the other State Teachers of the Year and the President of the United States.