Meet New Jersey’s 2022-23 County Teachers of the Year

NJEA is proud to join with students, school employees, parents and others in congratulating the 2022-23 New Jersey County Teachers of the Year.

“We congratulate all of this year’s county teacher of the year cohort on this well-earned and well-deserved recognition. Their dedication to the profession and the passion involved in teaching our students is proof positive why New Jersey garners the distinction of number one schools in the nation,” said NJEA President Sean M. Spiller.

“When we talk about what makes a community a place one wants to call home, time and time again, our public schools are listed at the top of what families see as the best part of their community. Our families know that their educators are there for them and their students. As the NJEA officer liaison to the county teacher of the year program, I can say this year’s cohort is testament to our communities’ success,” said NJEA Vice President Steve Beatty.

“Our county teachers represent all of our educators working to make a difference in the lives of our students and their families. Despite crippling shortages of educators across the state, these teachers show up and make the absolute best inclusive education they can for the children they serve. And, they do it with love, care, compassion and courage,” said NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Petal Robertson.


Bre Baker, a high school Biology teacher at Absegami High School in the Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School District.


Gina DiMaggio, a high school English teacher at Lyndhurst School in the Lyndhurst School District.


Sarah Sherman, a high school English teacher at Rancocas Valley Regional High School in the Rancocas Valley Regional High School District.


Michael Weppler, a middle school mathematics teacher at Winslow Township Middle School in the Winslow Township School District.

Cape May

Stephen Serano, a high school culinary arts teacher at Wildwood High School in the Wildwood City School District.


Jennifer Carbone, a middle school science teacher in the ExCEL program in the Bridgeton Public School District.


Kristen Dunleavy, a Special Education teacher for gradesK-5 at Redwood Elementary School in the West Orange School District.


Lisa Dolby, a teacher of students with disabilities and high school English teacher at Delsea High School in the Delsea Regional School District.


Ariel Babcock, a high school social studies teacher and media specialist at Weehawken High School in the Weehawken Township School District.


Brian Smith, a high school English teacher at Delaware Valley Regional High School in the Delaware Valley Regional School District.


Leigh Cline, a second grade teacher at the Parkway Elementary School in the Ewing Township School District.


Leana Malinowsky, a second grade teacher at Private Nicholas Minue School in the Carteret School District.


Kimberly Grigoli, a kindergarten teacher at Spring Lake Heights Elementary School in the Spring Lake Heights School District.


Andrea Ritacco, a high school business education teacher at Whippany Park High School in the Hanover Park Regional High School District.


Christina Girtain, a high school science teacher and the director of Authentic Science Research at Toms River High School South in the Toms River Regional School District.


Emily Blumberg, a high school science teacher at Passaic Preparatory Academy in the Passaic School District.


Erika Knoor, a kindergarten teacher at Elmer Elementary School in the Pittsgrove Township School District.


Ian Evans, a middle school English and language arts teacher at Hillsborough Middle School in the Hillsborough School District.


Christine O’Brien-Mase, a high school art and photography teacher at Sparta High School in the Sparta School District.


Candice Testa, a first grade teacher at William J. McGinn Elementary School in the Scotch Plains-Fanwood School District.


Daryl Detrick, a high school computer science teacher at Warren Hills Regional High School in the Warren Hills Regional School District.

County Teachers of the Year are encouraged to apply for the New Jersey State Teacher of the Year recognition. The New Jersey Teacher of the Year Program and the Governor’s Teacher/Educational Services Professionals Recognition Program have been integrated into the Governor’s Educator of the Year Program.  This updated program highlights educational innovation, student achievement, the rewards of teaching, and important services outside the classroom environment that lead to student success.  The educator chosen for this recognition is named at the New Jersey State Board of Education meeting in October. The 2021-22 recipient is Theresa Maughan, a high school history teacher in the East Orange school district.