Make it two in a row for Kean University!
Governor Chris Christie announced today that Kathleen Assini, a Kean University graduate, has been selected as New Jersey’s Teacher of the Year for 2013-14. She will succeed the reigning Teacher of the Year, Lauren Marrocco, who holds two degrees from Kean.
“This is a remarkable achievement, and demonstrates once again that Kean University produces the finest teachers in the state of New Jersey,” said Dr. Dawood Farahi, president of Kean University. “My congratulations go out to Kathleen. She is a great example for students in our College of Education.”
Ms. Assini holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Kean University. She returned to college in the late 1990s after working for 20 years in the field of cosmetology.
She was selected for the honor after being named Gloucester County Teacher of the Year last May. Ms. Assini is an eighth-grade social studies teacher in Delsea Regional Middle and High School.
The Governor presented Ms. Assini with her award at a ceremony in Trenton on Oct. 2. “Every one of us is here today because of great teachers – and often we can point to just one teacher who changed our lives,” the Governor said. “For many of her students, Kathleen has been that teacher. She has proven herself to be an outstanding educator and role model for her students, and I applaud her on her selection as New Jersey’s Teacher of the Year.”
State Commissioner of Education Chris Cerf noted that as the new state teacher of the year, Ms. Assini will be working with other educators in Trenton in the coming months, just as Ms. Marrocco did. “I am thrilled that Kathleen will join the Department for the next year, sharing her experience and her wisdom with us,” he said.
Like Ms. Marrocco, Ms. Assini accepted the award with humility and an awareness that New Jersey is home to many fine teachers. “I prefer the title ‘learning coach’ rather than ‘teacher,’” she said, noting that she has spent time coaching softball.
In addition to her classroom duties, she is active in teen support groups in her community.