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If you are a teacher

visit this page to nominate a peer.

Josh and Judy Weston established the Judy Weston Awards for Inspired Teaching in 1991 to celebrate Montclair Public School teachers who stand out as creative, talented, supportive, and inspiring! Today, the awards honor Judy's memory. Judy was a long-time Montclair resident and public school education supporter who was passionate about the vital role that engaged and empathetic educators play in helping every student achieve their full potential.

Parents/caregivers and students are invited to nominate any current K-12 Montclair teacher for this award. Sixteen finalists will be selected:

  • One teacher from each elementary school

  • One teacher from each middle school

  • Two teachers from the high school

  • One special education teacher from across the district

  • Two “at-large” awards for teachers from any school

  • NEW: A Peer Inspiration Award, based on teacher nominations and given to a teacher who has served as inspiration to their peers

 

Each of the 16 teachers will receive individual cash awards of $2000 and will be celebrated at a public event on June 12, 2024. 

All nominations are due by Friday, April 5, at midnight.

What is Inspired Teaching?

Inspired teaching...

 

...Excites students to learn.

Helps students feel valued.

…Responds to the individual needs and strengths of students.

How to nominate a teacher:

Parents/caregivers of current students - and students themselves! - can submit nominations of current or recent teachers. You can nominate as many teachers as you like. Your nomination can be written, audio, or video.  Students also have the option of submitting a picture of a written nomination. If you want a paper form or need help with the online form, let us know at judywestonawards@mfee.org

What goes into a nomination?

Think about what makes this teacher great!  The nomination form will ask you to share your experiences: 

  • How does this teacher excite your student to learn?

  • How does this teacher help your student feel valued?

  • How does this teacher respond to your student’s needs and strengths?

 

Help the reviewers see what you see! Use specific examples or stories from your personal experience to give insight into why this teacher is amazing in your eyes. 

 

This is not an essay contest.  Don't worry about perfect grammar, spelling, or sentence structure.  Share your thoughts and experiences in whatever way feels natural and communicates what makes this teacher inspiring!

How are the winners selected?

All nominations are reviewed anonymously by a selection committee made up of local education professionals and community leaders. The selection committee looks for evidence that meets the following criteria:

  • The teacher engages and excites students to learn, and inspires enthusiasm for learning. 

  • The teacher helps students, their classmates, and their families feel valued. The teacher creates a sense of belonging in the classroom and/or the broader school community. 

  • The teacher recognizes and responds to the unique needs and strengths of their students.

Who is eligible for a Judy Weston Award for Inspired Teaching?

Any certified K-12 MPS teacher who has not received the award in recent years can be nominated by a current parent/caregiver or student. Here is the list of last year’s award winners, who are not eligible to receive an award in 2024:

  • Scott Berman, Glenfield Middle School

  • Jessica Buel, Montclair High School

  • Marcie Chanin, Bradford Elementary School

  • Diana Chicaleski, Buzz Aldrin Middle School

  • Kersy Corporan, Montclair High School

  • Shawn David Dey, Northeast Elementary School

  • Rachel Dunn, Renaissance at Rand Middle School

  • Corrine Haggerty, Edgemont Montessori Elementary School

  • Satin Jordan, Renaissance at Rand Middle School

  • Peter Lentini, Buzz Aldrin Middle School

  • Karja Longmore, Hillside Elementary School

  • Maria Martire, Nishuane Elementary School

  • Lora Orta, Teacher of the Deaf, Montclair Public Schools

  • Katie Piller, Watchung Elementary School

  • Drury Thorp, Watchung Elementary School

  • Jennifer Woschinko, Charles H. Bullock Elementary School

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