Hardyston schools staff honored

HARDYSTON. Amanda Sanders, a fifth-grade language/art teacher, received the district’s Governor’s Teacher of the Year award.

| 16 Jan 2023 | 03:11

The Hardyston Board of Education honored teachers Amanda Sanders and Holly Romahn, secretary Peggy Van Ginneken and custodian Dave Lenz at the December meeting.

Chief School Administrator Mike Ryder said the district’s Governor’s Teacher of the Year award for the middle school was given to Sanders, a fifth-grade language arts teacher. The award is given to someone who often is described as an incredibly caring, nurturing and supportive teacher.

Sanders “has a unique way of forming special bonds with her students,” Ryder said. “She goes out of her way to be visible to all students’ events and always creates a classroom environment that is warm, loving and positive.”

She started her career in Hardyston as a part-time teacher at the elementary school before moving to the middle school and becoming a full-time teacher.

Romahn, a fourth-grade science teacher, received the Governor’s Teacher of the Year award for the elementary school.

She also recently received an Elementary School Teacher Excellence Award from the New Jersey Technology and Engineering Educators Association for her outstanding efforts in providing students with a solid foundation in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). And she was invited to be a presenter at the group’s annual conference.

“Holly has a passion for science and makes learning fun, hands on, and is also very involved with PTA and organizes many events,” Ryder said.

Romahn said, “We need a generation of problem-solvers who know how to persevere and make success from failure.”

The district’s Middle School Educational Services Professional Award was presented to Van Ginneken, the main office secretary at the middle school.

Ryder said Van Ginneken goes above and beyond to help anyone and everyone in the district.

“She has a unique quality of making anyone - staff or parent - feel comfortable and relaxed during what can be stressful times (and) has demonstrated excellent leadership skills as PTA president for several years.”

Van Ginneken is well-known in the community for her volunteer work.

“Peggy constantly comes in with ideas for how to communicate better and streamline information; and she is always welcoming and very helpful and very funny,” Ryder said.

Dave Lenz, head custodian, was named the Education Service Professional of the Year for the elementary school.

He is a former graduate of Hardyston School and is “dedicated, hard-working, knowledgeable and knows exactly how to keep the building working,” Ryder said. “He cares deeply about what he does and it shows.”

Lenz is a pleasure to work with and does whatever he can for others, he added. “He does this without complaining.”

The winners are chosen by the entire school community.

They will be celebrated at a May luncheon, which is hosted by the Sussex County Superintendents Roundtable Association.