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Monmouth University honored three outstanding New Jersey secondary school teachers at a dinner on May 10, 2012, hosted by President Paul G. Gaffney II. The 2012 Monmouth University-Roberts Charitable Foundation Outstanding School Teacher Award recipients were Edward Grande, Arthur L. Johnson High School (Clark, NJ); Chantal Greffer, Colonia High School (Colonia, NJ); and John Nesi, Marlboro High School (Marlboro, NJ).

The Monmouth University-Roberts Charitable Foundation Award was instituted in 2006 by Life Trustee William Roberts to recognize outstanding secondary school teachers who made an important contribution to the education of current Monmouth University students. Each teacher was nominated by a Monmouth University senior student for their outstanding teaching proficiencies and dedication to education. The selection committee included the Dean of the School of Education Lynn Romeo and Monmouth University professors and students. The teachers received an award of $1,500 and were recognized at Monmouth University’s commencement on May 16, 2012.

Edward Grande is content supervisor of mathematics, world language and technology for the Clark School District. Prior to this position, he taught mathematics at Arthur L. Johnson High School. Grande is a graduate of Arthur L. Johnson High School and earned a bachelor and master’s degree from Rutgers College, and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University.  He was nominated by his former student, Lisa Bukowiec, who stated “Mr. Grande is the sole reason that I decided to become a math teacher. He really made math so much less complex, and I want to do that for my students as well. He has true dedication to his work and to his students.”

Chantal Greffer has been teaching at Colonia High School for over twenty-tree years and currently teaches both advanced placement biology and advanced placement environmental science. Previously, she taught college-prep biology and environmental science. For the past thirteen years she has served as the Team Teacher for students conducting research in molecular biology as a part of the Waksman Student Scholars Program in association with Rutgers University. She was nominated by her former student, Dharm Patel, who will begin a PhD program in biomedical science at Rutgers University this fall. Dharm stated: “Ms. Greffer is a knowledgeable, compassionate, and creative educator.  She has a way of making students understand and appreciate the complexities of life, from the inner working of a cell to survival and reproductive strategies of various plants and animals.  She has had an immeasurable impact on both my academic and career goals in addition to shaping me as a student and as a person.”

John Nesi has been a math teacher at Marlboro High School since 2002. He has also taught at Old Bridge High School and LaSalle Academy in New York City.  He worked as vice president of information, technology and communication for various international banks from 1982 to 2001. He earned his undergraduate and graduate degree from Pace University.  He was nominated by his former student, Cameron Nichols, who stated: “Mr. Nesi’s enthusiasm starts with a love for math but it goes beyond that and includes a genuine love of teaching and a passion for his students and their learning. His sense of humor guided me through tough math lessons. When students feel frustrated or overwhelmed, he goes the extra mile to motivate them with laughter and encouragement.”

For more information, contact Monmouth University’s School of Education at 732-263-5477.

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Media contact: Petra Ludwig at 732-263-5507