NJEA and the Boss 107.1 FM have partnered to recognize the women making a difference in New Jersey’s public schools

August 2018: Kaitlin Smith from Middletown High School North

Miss Smith is the epitome of a Leading Lady. During my daughter Casey’s freshman year, she sustained a serious concussion that prevented her from returning to full function for 6 months. Miss Smith became her History home instructor and provided so much more than an education. She became Casey’s advocate and the one who most significantly helped Casey when her nystagmus symptoms became severe in school. She knew what to do and also became my Leading Lady because as a parent not being there to help your child through a rough time was difficult. To this day, Miss Smith is Casey’s mentor providing guidance and support on a daily basis despite the fact that her job as Casey’s home instructor ended long ago. A true example of going the extra mile, loving your job and doing what is in the best interest of the student despite the fact that they are no longer your responsibility. For these reasons, I truly believe Kaitlin Smith is a Leading Lady and is deserving of this award.

July 2018: Carrie Bush from Toms River High School East

Miss Bush is a Guidance Counselor at Toms River High School East, who really cares and wants the best for our children.  My children’s father had passed away in February,  when she heard this she was there for my son contacted myself and even called my daughter Victoria’s school to tell her teachers to keep an eye out on her, as we are concerned for her. Miss Bush offered help lighten my load. Miss Bush took the time from her personal life to call to check on my family several times,  she even came to the service on Palm Sunday to show support for our family. You see my son is high-functioning Asperger’s, and he took his father’s passing very hard, Miss Bush is the true blessing for all the children and for my family.  I wish all teachers would be like her. She’s outstanding!!!!

June 2018: Fran Dolan from Howell Middle School

Fran Dolan is my hero. Not only is she fantastic with her kids as a guidance counselor for many years in the district, she is one amazing woman. Fran has been  battling breast cancer for the last 12 years. She was in remission for five years and it came back, and then it came back again, and then it came back again. Fran always came back to work to help her students and never really complained, looked at the positive side of life, and is an inspiration to me and many others . She is battling for her life …

May 2018: Alyssa Regenye from Wall High School.

Alyssa is the student assistance counselor at Wall High School.  She is passionate about her work and goes above and beyond to ensure her students have every opportunity to be successful no matter the circumstance.  She deals with substance use issues and she is non judge mental and works to see everyone gets the help they need.  She works with students, families and community leaders ensuring information and dangers of use are brought to the forefront through education.  She is an advocate for recovery and prevention within the community.  I have personally seen the effects of her tireless effort.  She is bringing results on the substance use front and healthier communities are the result.  EVERY school system would be blessed with a clone of Alyssa.

March 2018:  Eileen Kulik from Taunton School in Howell

Mrs. Kulik is a special education assistant in my son’s class. She was also my daughter’s assistant for two years before she graduated to another school. Mrs. Kulik is an amazing woman who has dedicated herself to helping children with special needs. She is very kind and compassionate and is a perfect person to work with our special needs children who need help in a mainstreamed class. She is always positive and friendly and my kids always felt safe and secure with her.  She has touched and enriched the lives of the children in her classroom and their families. She is a source of encouragement and helps our children overcome many obstacles. Mrs. Kulik has made a lasting impression on my daughter who wishes Mrs. Kulik could be in her classroom again.  She misses her greatly.  I am very grateful for her dedication to our children for without her I do not believe they would have accomplished as much as they do.


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