By Maddy Vitale
Ocean City High School’s American Sign Language teacher Amy Andersen, who is New Jersey’s Teacher of the Year, was honored yet again, for her work as an inspirational educator.
On Monday, during what she thought was a staff meeting, Andersen was called up to the podium by Schools Superintendent Kathleen Taylor and High School Principal Matt Jamison.
She was informed that she was one of the top educators of 46 nominees nationwide. Anderson was honored with the California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence. She will go on to the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education gala in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 8 where the national educator will be named.
Christina Ramos, field marketing manager for California Casualty said, “Today, I have the pleasure of presenting this award to Amy Andersen. This award goes to educators who are recognized as the best.”
Schools Superintendent Kathleen Taylor said the latest honor for Andersen is a testament to the lives she has touched on a daily basis as an educator.
High School Principal Matt Jamison noted that Andersen deserves recognition for the work she does to impact students’ lives.
Her eyes welled up as she stepped to the podium and was presented with balloons, bouquets of flowers and a check for $500 from California Casualty.
She thanked Ramos and her colleagues for the honor.
After a year away from the classroom, as state Teacher of the Year, Andersen is overjoyed to be back doing what she loves most – teaching.
At the end of the ceremony, Andersen posed for pictures and spoke about her life as Teacher of the Year.
“I’m really happy to be back in the classroom to be able to be with my students,” she said.
She also said she has been enjoying the year, especially the friendships she has made with other top educators.
Andersen noted that she speaks daily to three of the other finalists for National Teacher of the Year.
“Even though we teach different subjects, we all make the students our priority,” she said of the main thing the teachers have in common.
She added that she plans on speaking with Jamison and Taylor about some ideas she had for the $500 check she received from California Casualty.
She thought it might be a good idea to bring in a hearing-impaired actor to visit with her ASL Honors Society.
In addition to Andersen receiving top honors, this last year has been a big one for educator recognition in the Ocean City School District.
Taylor was named top superintendent in the state. Jamison was named state Principal of the Year and “Visionary of the Year” by the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association.