Press Releases Index

May 27, 2003
CONTACT: Millie Gonzalez
Office of University Relations
908-737-NEWS (6397)

Kean University Hosts Outstanding Student Teacher Awards Presentation

UNION, N.J – The College of Education of Kean University held its 18th annual Outstanding Student Teachers Awards Presentation titled A Celebration of Excellence in Teacher Education, on May 13.

"It is extremely important to recognize those students who excel in the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed for the teaching profession," noted Dr. Ana Maria Schuhmann, dean of the College of Education. "It is also an opportunity to recognize and thank principals and cooperating teachers for their support." In his opening remarks, Dr. Livingston Alexander, provost/vice president for academic affairs, thanked the many cooperating teachers for their mentoring of Kean’s future educators. "Kean has a long and proud tradition of excellence in education. The University is grateful that you are willing to work with our students as they become quality teachers." Schuhmann echoed the sentiment, saying, "Your work is truly a labor of love."

The University’s student-teacher program stresses the importance of pedagogical skills that complement a strong knowledge of subject matter. A contingent of 18 Kean students were honored with Outstanding Student Teacher Awards. Of the more than 500 student-teachers who graduated from Kean this year, 60 were nominated for the award.

Two Kean education majors, Barbara Brandon of Matawan, N.J, and Michael Chodroff of Old Bridge, N.J., were selected as two of the 16 individuals in the state to receive the 2003 Commissioner’s Distinguished Teacher Certificate Award. The annual awards recognize the year’s top graduates from teacher-preparation programs in New Jersey.

The candidates were nominated by Interim President Dr. Frank J. Esposito, upon a recommendation by Schuhmann. "Both Barbara and Michael are typical of Kean’s student body," said Schuhmann. "They are mature, conscientious and dedicated individuals." Once nominated, students submitted dossiers that were evaluated by a panel of veteran educators, who narrowed the list to 16 students, whom they felt were informed and dynamic professionals, possessing exemplary values, skills and knowledge.

"I am constantly in search of ways to enhance my abilities as an educator, and Kean allowed me to take advantage of technology workshops while I completed my curriculum requirements," said Chodroff. "With students, fellow teachers and administrators being so diverse in nature, I have created positive relationships, comfortable environments and motivating lessons for my students."

While a special appearance by fast-food icon Ronald McDonald put a smile on the faces of everyone in the audience, Grace Barrientos, Jose Gerez and Frances Villaverde from Passaic Vocational, Perth Amboy and Piscataway (N.J.) high schools, respectively, were particularly delighted by the visit. McDonald presented each of the three students with a Ronald McDonald House Charities’ Hispanic American Commitment to Educational Resources Scholarship, in recognition of his or her achievements during Kean’s Future Teachers Academy. Each of the recipients will attend Kean in the fall.
Individual honors were also presented during the event. Martin Gulino, principal of the George Washington School in Hillside, N.J., received the Richard J. Nichols Award, and Lori M. Christensen, education major, received the Ruth S. Horowitz Early Childhood Education Scholarship.