Morris County Vocational School District’s Academy for Education and Learning teacher, Jennifer Skomial, has been selected as the New Jersey Educator of the Year by the state Department of Education.
Skomial has been a teacher at Morris County School of Technology (MCST) in Denville for ten years. For the past five years, she has led the Academy for Education and Learning, a four-year program for high school students interested in careers in education.
“I am proud to say that I have never worked with a more genuinely devoted teacher,” said MCST Principal Lynne Jackson. “Jennifer is innovative, creative, and collaborative. She consistently brings out the very best in her students and colleagues.”
Scott Moffitt, superintendent of the Morris County Vocational School District, said, “We are incredibly proud of Jennifer and the impact she has on our school community. Her leadership as a career and technical education teacher has had a positive impact on both her colleagues and future educators.”
Skomial, who was selected as Morris County Teacher of the Year in September, is herself a graduate of the MCST Academy for Education and Learning.
Now, she spends her days coaching her students as they work with children the district’s on-site preschool, planning guest speakers and field trips and creating lessons that will engage their interest in child development, classroom management and other education-related topics.
Actively involved in encouraging more young people to enter the teaching profession and in assisting those just launching their careers, Skomial has served in the formal role of MCST Lead Teacher by mentoring new teachers, establishing professional learning communities, providing professional development opportunities to colleagues, and serving on several district and school-wide committees.
She is the first career and technical educator to be honored as the state teacher of the year, and the third New Jersey county vocational-technical school teacher to receive this recognition since the program began in the 1989-1990 school year. Robert Goodman, a physics teacher at Bergen County Technical School in Teterboro, was honored in 2005-2006, and Jeanne Del Colle, a social studies teacher at the Burlington County Institute of Technology Westampton Campus, was honored in 2011-2012.
“Recognizing the profound impact that this talented educator has on her students – many of them destined for careers in teaching – highlights the value of career and technical education opportunities that engage and inspire students to pursue their passions,” said Judy Savage, executive director of the NJ Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools.
“New Jersey’s CTE teachers are shaping our state’s future workforce and we look forward to Jennifer’s leadership as New Jersey’s Educator of the Year,” Savage said.
A panel of educators chooses the State Educator of the Year from among the 21 County Teachers of the Year and the State Facility Teacher of the Year based on written applications, video submissions and interviews. The state honoree then represents New Jersey in the competition for National Teacher of the Year.