NJEA and the Philadelphia Soul teamed up to recognize some NJEA members as VIPs of the game. VIPs were awarded special tickets in the field zone which included an open buffet, VIP parking, and a chance to meet some players and cheerleaders. The colleagues who nominated them were winners, too. They received Blue Zone tickets along with parking and food & beverage vouchers.

Here are our winners:

Alan Bigos is a physical education teacher and coach at Middletown High School South in New Jersey. He started a flag football team clinic for students with disabilities in Monmouth County. He enlists the help of the high school football players he coaches to serve as peer instructors. The program is in its sixth year and is very popular. Alan is always willing to help students and colleagues alike. He is a true professional and beloved teacher. He was nominated by Nick Trezza.

Alexia Vidal is a kindergarten teacher at New York Avenue School in Atlantic City. She is passionate, loving, caring, and creative. She makes learning fun for her students and their parents. Everyone wants to be in her class – even her colleagues! She always has a smile on her face and a kind word. She is also a dance teacher and a choreographer. Despite her busy schedule, she always makes time for her family, students, and colleagues. She was nominated by Stacey Robinson.

Dave Cogan teaches sixth to eighth grade Math in Magnolia Public School in Camden County, New Jersey. He’s not only a great teacher, but he makes students laugh with his silly jokes and upbeat approach. He heads his school’s Renaissance Program and has taken students skating, bowling, to the movies and barbecues, and Citizen’s Bank Park. His connection to students doesn’t end when they graduate. He advises students through high school and college. He is supportive of his students and colleagues and brings joy to his school. He was nominated by Geri Doukali.

Tom McLaughlin is a science teacher at Mullica Township Middle School. He’s also the track and field and volleyball coach. He’s taught almost every grade level and even served as a vice principal. When budget challenges resulted in an administrative position being cut, Tom volunteered to go back to the classroom so his colleague could keep his job. The real winners are his students who flock to his class. Tom is an enthusiastic teacher and coach and inspires his colleagues and students to be the best they can be. He was nominated by Scott Newhall.

Marie Battist-Celestin is a Business Teacher with Millville Public Schools for the past 11 years. Marie ensures all of her students know they are special and that their excellence in all subjects is important. She is a staunch advocate for education and a Haitian-born American who is an Army Veteran.  Marie is blessed with three beautiful children (Desiree, Jouvens, Jr., and Andree) and a darling cat named Apollo. She was nominated by Michael Morton.

Alison Becker-Moses is a math professor at Mercer County Community College. She has been a teacher for 17 years, 11 at Mercer. She’s taught thousands of students over her career. Her students include recent high school graduates, workers who are changing careers, and adults who have decided to pursue a degree. She takes the time to get to know her students, so she can inspire them to achieve their dreams.


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