Hunterdon Central is delighted to announce that English Teacher Mary Woods has been selected as Hunterdon County's Teacher of the Year for 2012-2013.
In that capacity, Mary will be serving on county panels, committees, task forces and speaking engagements. She will also be our County representative for New Jersey State Teacher of the Year.
At Central, Mary teaches a spectrum of English courses that reach a diverse group of students – from those struggling to last the course and graduate, to those tackling college level work. Her ability to connect with and challenge all students played a key role in her selection as Teacher of the Year.
Whether utilizing the high school’s academic lab to create a personalized curriculum for a student who has never passed an English class, or guiding Advanced Placement students through the complexities of inquiry-based learning, Mary consistently seeks resources and develops learning experiences that meet students at their own levels, guiding them step by step toward confidence and success.
According to English Department Supervisor, Brendan McIsaac, “Mary has the unique ability to work successfully with both AP students and those on the verge of quitting high school. She approaches every student and engages them with one set of expectations - that all kids can and will learn. Because of her willingness to experiment with technology and individualized instruction, she stands poised to lead by example, as we move toward redefining achievement one student at a time.”
Mary has also been extremely active in promoting the ongoing vision for education at Hunterdon Central. She was instrumental in shaping the use of inquiry and professional learning for all staff members, and has been a core teacher in the school’s shift toward one-to-one student computing in the classroom. Mary is active in sending district articulation efforts and committed to the Hunterdon Fellowship Program, supporting District efforts to evolve into a high school that successfully reaches all students.
Above all, Mary’s exceptional dedication to her students is very apparent. She says, “As teachers, we get to meet all of these interesting people, our students, and learn their stories, their strengths and weaknesses. But teaching is also about solving puzzles, applying this knowledge to craft a course and classroom that create opportunities for each student’s improvement. Our students stay with us: we worry about their mistakes; we celebrate their achievements, long after the work day is done, long after they’ve left our classes.”
The District is very grateful for the efforts of this exceptional teacher, and is proud to congratulate Mary Woods as Hunterdon County's Teacher of the Year.
An interview with Mary Woods