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Keynote speaker Jeanne M. DelColle addressed Monmouth University student teachers at the annual fall Student Teaching Orientation at Monmouth University in August. DelColle, the 2011-2012 NJ Teacher of the Year, gave aspiring teachers a presentation on her successful journey as an educator, which included discussion on “An expert on anything was once a beginner.”

“Listening to Ms. DelColle gave me goose bumps; she inspired me to keep pushing forward with my dream no matter the obstacles I may encounter,” said student teacher Sara Platt. “This was the first time that anyone had told me it was not only OK to make mistakes, but that I was going make mistakes!” Platt, who did a total career switch at age 30, said that listening to DeColle left her feeling that she wasn’t alone, but part of something amazing.

DelColle has taught anthropology, U.S. history, and world history at the middle school and high school levels, and currently teaches history at Burlington Institute of Technology. She is renowned for her teaching skills, which include the extraordinary ability to make connections between the world views of her students and those of culture and history.  Monmouth University student teachers were impressed by her commitment and caring for her students, as well as her passion for her teaching.

Monmouth University student teacher Kristin Gaul said, “The Teacher of the Year speech was a great motivator before student teaching because she really made us want to love and get to know our students in order to impact them in their everyday lives, not just the classroom.”

As the 2011-2012 New Jersey Teacher of the Year, as well as a member of the NJ Teacher Evaluation Pilot Advisory Committee and the NJ Model Curriculum Committee, DelColle has been reaching out to New Jersey pre-service teacher education students throughout the state to aid them in understanding what to expect during their first year of teaching. Her goals are to listen to student concerns and perspectives and address issues such as diversity and the achievement gap, raising their expectations to inspire and support those students who are in the greatest need of exceptional teachers.

“Her innovative strategies and enthusiasm were a joy to witness” said student teacher Michelle Garfinkle. “She has inspired me to continually strive to make a difference in the lives of my students.”

For more information on Monmouth University’s School of Education, visit

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Media contact: Petra Ludwig at 732-263-5507