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2020-2021 Governor's Educator of the Year (GEOY) Recipients
Our district participated in the New Jersey Governor's Educator of the Year Program, and your nominations made all the difference! We received nominations from students, parents, administrators, staff and community members for this year's Teachers of the Year.
 
Volunteers in each school formed a Selection Committee, which included parent representation, and used a precise grading system and rubric supplied by the New Jersey Department of Education to score the nominations submitted. 
 
At its December 15, 2020 board meeting, Superintendent Dr. George J. Rafferty proudly announced Mount Laurel School District's 2020-2021 Governor's Educator of the Year Recipients. Congratulations to all of this year's recipients!
 
 
LJohnston
Lorelei Johnston,
Speech & Language Specialist
Countryside Elementary School
 
CAnyzek
Christy Anyzek,
2nd Grade Teacher
Parkway Elementary School
 
DFranke
Deborah Franke,
Art Teacher
Fleetwood Elementary School
 
MPapol
Malinda Papol
2nd Grade Teacher
Springville Elementary School
 
MPoolaw
Michelle Poolaw,
Basic Skills Math Teacher
Hillside Elementary School
 
CDyer
Crystal Dyer,
5th Grade Teacher
Hartford Upper Elementary School
 
Gsalas
Gina Salas,
4th Grade Teacher
Larchmont Elementary School
 
 
MMortimer
Dr. Matthew Mortimer,
7th Grade Social Studies Teacher
Thomas E. Harrington Middle School
 
 
About Our 2020-2021 GEOY Recipients
 
Lorelei Johnston 
Countryside Elementary School
Mrs. Lorelei Johnston consistently goes above and beyond for her students at Countryside School. Her students are always in the forefront of her mind when she makes educational and instructional decisions. The students look forward to seeing her and she always greets them enthusiastically with a big smile. Mrs. Johnston individualizes her instruction to meet the needs of every student. She implements a variety of instructional strategies and programs for students to meet their varied needs. 
She is a respected colleague to the teachers and staff at Countryside School. She is always willing to work collaboratively with her peers.  Mrs. Johnston has a strong rapport with parents and students on her caseload.  She fosters open lines of communication and offers training sessions with the parents and their child.  Mrs. Johnston is dedicated to the students, parents, teachers, specialists, therapists, administrators, and the entire Countryside community.
 
Deborah Franke
Fleetwood Elementary School
Mrs. Franke has a very endearing way of connecting with her kids. She starts with her heart. She connects on an emotional level while all the time showing that she truly cares about her kids. She tirelessly gives of herself in not only her daily classes but to the overall Fleetwood community. Her art clubs are thoughtfully run, art with a sprinkle is a long standing Fleetwood tradition and her decorating the entire school with her kids artwork is another treasured endeavor we all look forward to each year.
 
Michelle Poolaw
Hillside Elementary School
Ms. Poolaw serves as a Compacted Math Teacher and Basic Skills Math Instructor. Prior to serving in this role, she was a third grade teacher who was wholeheartedly committed to meeting the needs of her students. Ms. Poolaw embraces the whole community at Hillside. She makes learning relevant and empowers the students to explore mathematics at higher levels. She has a natural connection with her students’ parents and works in conjunction with them to develop an individualized learning plan for their children. She takes pride in finding how to help each student excel in his/her own way.
 
Gina Salas
Larchmont Elementary School
Mrs. Salas is an outstanding educator and mentor for students. Mrs. Salas has taken on the task of teaching full remote students. She has embraced remote teaching and learning whole-heartedly, and has turned a challenge into an opportunity for innovation. She is extremely dedicated and ensures her students' educational, social and emotional needs are met. She is committed to her student’s success and each day brings a warm smile and positive upbeat attitude for her students. She is dedicated to serving the community as a whole by encouraging her students to participate in the Wishbone Project. She has high expectations for her class, but maintains those expectations while also taking students' feelings and individual experiences into account.
 
Christy Anyzek
Parkway Elementary School
Ms. Christy Anyzek is a master educator who excels in her role as a 2nd grade teacher. Every child and staff member who is lucky enough to interact with Ms. Anyzek benefits from her work ethic, passion, and desire to always strive to be better. Ms. Anyzek is dynamic in the classroom. She communicates well, using various modes to reach her students, possesses a deep knowledge of her subject matter, and connects with students on all levels. Ms. Anyzek has high expectations and is open to learning new teaching methods that will enhance her instruction and benefit students. Ms. Anyzek’s humility about her effectiveness is part of what makes her so great!.
 
Malinda Papol
Springville Elementary School
Malinda Papol is an extraordinary teacher, respected educator, and committed mentor. Laser-focused on the growth and development of her students, Mrs. Papol uses her knowledge of their strengths, skills, and interests to craft instruction and enrichment that taps into their intellectual curiosity, differentiates for their unique needs, and supports them in reaching their fullest potential.  She is respected and consulted for her knowledge of Responsive Classroom, problem-based learning and behavior management strategies.  Her drive, passion, and engagement inspires her students, parents, and colleagues.
 
Crystal Dyer
Hartford Upper Elementary School
Fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Crystal Dyer, is Hartford School’s GEOY recipient.  Mrs. Dyer has been inspiring minds at Hartford School for the past twelve years. Not only does she care about her students’ academic progress, but understands their social and emotional needs are paramount.  Mrs. Dyer treats each one of her students with great dignity and respect. She has helped us create a positive environment that is child-oriented and focuses on building positive self-esteem through high standards and well-designed instruction. In the classroom, Mrs. Dyer is a creative and innovative teacher that is always searching for new ways to engage her students.  Her goal is to always show how everything they learn is connected.  She achieves this by meticulously planning her lessons and connecting cross-curricular standards for students. 
   
Dr. Matthew Mortimer
Thomas E. Harrington Middle School
Dr. Mortimer is an exceptional teacher.  He creates unique experiences in the classroom for all students.  Dr. Mortimer brings a wealth of knowledge within his subject area of Social Studies to the 7th grade classroom every year.  Whether it's showing the different perspectives of the events to the 9/11 tragedy, or building 9/11 memorials, presenting artifacts relative to Jamestown, or running our Geo Bee, Dr. Mortimer engages all learners and gets them to connect with his material in a special way.  His commitment and willingness to help his colleagues make him someone who is cherished by staff.  His love and passion for history along with his care for his students are what makes him beloved by all students.