CLARK, NJ — Technology and English are not two subjects often thought of together; perhaps this is why Victoria Sasso, a sixth grade teacher from Clark’s Carl H. Kumpf Middle School, is so effective and was chosen as Union County’s Teacher of the Year.
Sasso, a language arts instructor, received the award Tuesday, Sept. 12, from the N.J. Department of Education, which selected one public school teacher from each of the state’s 21 counties for the title. According to data from the department of education, New Jersey has 2,518 total
public schools and 590 operating school districts.
Sasso started teaching in 2002, and joined the Clark district in 2006. Initially, she was hired as the instructor for the gifted and talented students, charged with creating and implementing a new program. She later transitioned into teaching middle school English language arts, and this will be her fourth year teaching the subject.
Her favorite part of the job is designing and implementing new learning experiences for her students.
“During the design process, I thrive on collaborating with colleagues and learning new strategies and tools, especially those that incorporate technology, to include in my lessons,” Sasso said in an interview with the LocalSource on Sept. 13.
Being chosen for the honor is a major accomplishment.
According to the state Department of Education, teachers are nominated at the school level through the Governor’s Educator of the Year Program. Teachers then compete for county recognition and are selected by panels representing a cross-section of administrators, teachers, parents and county education association representatives assembled by the various executive county superintendents, who administer education at the county level.
The recognition allows awarded teachers to serve on committees and task forces to share their own experiences and points of view at the state level.
“I am so thankful to those who nominated me at the school level and to my students for inspiring me to continue to grow as an educator,” Sasso said.
In addition to networking with educators throughout the state and county, honored teachers are responsible for bringing provided Department of Education resources and materials to their school districts.
“The 2017-2018 cohort of NJ County Teachers of the Year is an amazing group of educators with tremendous energy and passion for their craft, and I am proud to serve with them as educational ambassadors,” Sasso told the LocalSource.
And while some students cringe at the thought of a reading assignment or a coming up with their own composition, Sasso’s passion in the classroom compensates for this.
“Having the opportunities to explore literature and mentor young writers are what urged me to teach English language arts,” she said. “There is nothing quite like sharing a work of literature with students.”