Position: Self Contained Teacher for 5th and 6th grade
School: Dawes Avenue Elementary School
School District: Somers Point Schools
City, State: Somers Point, New Jersey
About the Nominee: Maripat Perone was nominated by her principal, Doreen Lee. Mrs. Perone takes her Special Education students under her wing and never gives up on them. She challenges them in terms of both character and academics, providing guidance and support at all times. Students who were previously suspended several times during a school year don't get suspended once they have worked with Mrs. Perone. Through her coding club, she also works with general education students and has helped them build their self-esteem and school commitment.
Mrs. Perone is part of her school's Intervention and Referral Services Team. She takes a lead role to investigate interventions, even providing herself to students when a staff member is unavailable. She has also taken a lead role in her school's Wellness Committee each year to write the grant that funds the school gardens. Last year, she learned about Hydroponic Gardening and took the lead to get four indoor gardens going in the school. She can be found at school all summer gardening outside and caring for the vegetables so her students can turn them into meals. Many teachers offer their help so that their class can be involved with the gardens.
Mrs. Perone is an active member of her Association. She is always professional in dealing with matters that are of a sensitive nature, and she is a mentor to students. She eats lunch with these students, checks in with them frequently and has helped many of them grow to be better students all around. She is a LifeChanger in her community.