Monmouth University honored three outstanding New Jersey secondary school teachers at a dinner on May 14, 2013, hosted by President Paul G. Gaffney II. The 2013 Monmouth University-Roberts Charitable Foundation Outstanding School Teacher Award recipients were Katherine Farino, Old Bridge High School; Dr. Bob Feder, Bridgewater-Raritan High School; and Michael Fletcher, Brick Township High School.
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 22, 2013
Katherine Farino has been an English teacher at Old Bridge High School since 1994. In addition, she is a Plato English Instructor and works with eight students each day in an after school credit recover program. Farino explained that “the influential and transformative power of the written word has been the driving force in my language arts literacy classroom.” Farino earned a bachelor’s degree from The College of New Jersey and master’s degree from Kean University. She was nominated by her former student, Katie Meyer, who stated: “Ms. Farino is the teacher that every student wants because she packs her year full of laughter and learning opportunities. She is the kind of teacher who inspires others to become teachers themselves.”
Dr. Bob Feder has been a teacher for over forty years and is currently a ceramics and cultural ceramics teacher at Bridgewater-Raritan High School. He is also the president of three non-profit educational foundations including The National K12 Ceramic Exhibition Foundation. Feder described: “For me, education is about connecting the learner to the next step. My students know I care about them, yet I put the responsibility upon them to make choices of targets and standards of performance.” Feder earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and Ed.D. degree from Rutgers University. He was nominated by his former student Ellen Sternberg, who stated: “Dr. Feder worked to make the ceramics studio a place where students could express themselves and feel comfortable. The time I spent in his classroom built my character, taught me how to respect myself and others, provided me with a personal strength I didn’t know I possessed.”
Michael Fletcher has been a social studies teacher at Brick Township High School since 1993. In 2008, he was named Brick Township High School teacher of the year. Fletcher said: “Over the years I’ve consistently tried to provide the students with a positive, welcoming learning environment” and “use a student-centered approach to teaching.” Fletcher earned his bachelor’s degree from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and attended Georgian Court University. He was nominated by his former student Kristen Vander Drift, who stated: “Something that made Mr. Fletcher an outstanding teacher was not only his willingness to help students, but also the passion he has for history. I am becoming a high school history teacher because of him.”
For more information, contact Monmouth University’s School of Education at 732-263-5477.