Hopatcong Borough School District’s guidance secretary, Stacy Yanko, has been named New Jersey Education Association’s Educational Support Professional of the Year. She began her journey as a paraprofessional in Hopatcong Borough School District in 2006. It was there, in Hopatcong, that she first learned the value of her voice.  Read more about Stacy in this month’s NJEA Review.

Yanko believes that we work best when we’re working together because together we are stronger. Her dedication, vision and commitment led her to spearhead the revitalization of a school library. The library went from being a wasted space in the school building, to a vibrant place where both students and teachers felt welcomed and inspired. It started with vision. She saw a need and she did something about it. Yanko currently works as Full-Time High School Guidance Secretary where she helps students and their families find the right colleges and post-secondary opportunities. Yanko doesn’t just play a critical role in the college selection process, she plays a specific role in helping students identify and apply for scholarships.

“We are so proud that Stacy Yanko is being recognized for outstanding work both in school and with her local association,” said Marie Blistan, NJEA President. “Her students and colleagues rely on her expertise and appreciate her dedication to our profession. Educational Support Professionals are essential to our associations’ and schools’ success. They are our unsung heroes and the very backbone of our schools.”

When it was announced that she has been named the NJEA ESP of the year, Yanko said, “Member participation is important at every level, and I want everyone to experience the enthusiasm and pride that I feel in my heart.  I am truly honored to have the opportunity to be awarded this recognition.” As NJEA ESP of the Year, Yanko will be expected to speak at various NJEA events and represent her fellow ESPs at National Education Association events throughout the coming year.

The following are our NJEA County ESP of the Year winners:

Atlantic County

Teresa Calvi, a paraprofessional with the Mainland Regional Education Association.

Bergen County

Diane DeBiase, a secretary with the Carlstadt Education Association.

Burlington County

Deborah Crosby, a teaching assistant with the Burlington County Special Services Education Association.

Cape May County

Kenneth Basset, a paraprofessional with the Cape May County Special Services Staff Association.

Cumberland County

Jodi Dickinson, a library clerk with the Hopewell Educators Association.

Essex County

Renaud Pierre-Louis, a bus driver with the South Orange-Maplewood Education Association.

Gloucester County

Shawn Dudley, a custodian with the Washington Township School Support Service Personnel Association.

Hudson County

Jeannine Visconti, a paraprofessional with the West New York Education Association.

Hunterdon County

Carol Rocha, a secretary with the Hunterdon Central Education Association.

Mercer County

Antoinette Hopkins, a pareducator with the Princeton Regional Educations Support Staff Association.

Middlesex County

Kim McMillan, a dropout prevention officer with the New Brunswick Education Association.

 Monmouth County

Jacqueline Kruzik, an instructional assistant with the Matawan Aberdeen Regional Education Association.

Morris County

Jean Swanick, a paraeducator with the Rockaway Borough Education Association.

 Ocean County

Lisa Moody, a paraprofessional with the Lakewood Education Association.

Passaic County

Belitza Callegari, an instructional aide with the Paterson Education Association.

Salem County

Jennifer Jenkis, a paraprofessional with the Woodstown-Pilesgrove Regional Education Association.

Somerset County

Linda McNally, a paraprofessional with the Bernards Township Education Association.

Sussex County

Stacey Yanko, a guidance secretary with the Hopatcong Office Personnel Association.

Union County

Colleen Nemeth, a secretary with the Clark Education Association.

Warren County

Ann Davis, a secretary with the Phillipsburg Education Association.


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