Adamsville Teacher of the Year and Educational Services Professional honored at ceremony

Adamsville Teacher of the Year and Educational Services Professional honored at ceremony

A celebration of the commitments and dedication of staff members in the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District was presented on Tuesday, May 4.

The Somerville Elks Lodge served as the venue for the school district’s annual—and highly acclaimed—Staff Recognition Reception.

The event was held to honor the 2023-2024 Bridgewater-Raritan Teacher of the Year and the Educational Services Professionals for all 11 schools in the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District.

A total of 22 staff members–two from each school–were honored before an estimated crowd of 175, which included administrators, board of education members, staff, teachers, and families of the honorees.

The reception was sponsored by the Bridgewater-Raritan Education Association (BREA), while the ceremony was coordinated by the energetic and valuable Suzanne Klos, the Executive Secretary to the Superintendent.

She was assisted in preparing for this elite ceremony by Terry Brown and Kaitlyn McGhee, who are Administrative Assistants in the Office of the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.

Laura Kress, the BREA President, opened the ceremony with her remarks that cited the faithfulness and devotion that are exhibited by the 22 honorees as well as the entire school district.

Superintendent Bob Beers followed Ms. Kress and touched on how “Bridgewater-Raritan is unique in that we are able to hold an event such as this.”

He applauded the honorees and the school district for “a high level of commitment to excel’ and described the teaching profession as a calling rather than a job.

Each school principal was given the opportunity to speak and introduce their two distinguished staff members–Teacher of the Year and Educational Services Professional of the Year.

Each honoree received a commemorative gift that was handed out by the Board of Education Vice President, Jennifer Loughran, and a Board of Education member, Stacey Friedlander.

Here are the Adamsville honorees and their summaries written by Principal Dr. James Singagliese.

Alexandra Pelligrino
Adamsville Primary School
Grade 1 Special Education Teacher

With pride and admiration, the Adamsville staff has selected Ms. Alexandra Pelligrino
as our Teacher of the Year. As a first-grade special education teacher for the past five
years, Ms. Pelligrino embodies the belief that every student can succeed in an
environment built on care, safety, and inclusivity.
Ms. Pelligrino's dedication to her craft is evident in the culture of respect and growth
she has cultivated within her classroom and beyond. Her teaching philosophy centers
on the power of connections with her students, their families, and colleagues.
In Ms. Pelligrino's classroom, diversity is celebrated, and every voice is valued. Through
her culturally responsive teaching practices, she instills the importance of kindness and
nurtures a deep love for learning. By tailoring her lessons to match student interests and
implementing meaningful differentiation strategies, she ensures that all her students can
thrive and reach high academic standards.
Beyond the classroom, Ms. Pelligrino's impact extends into the broader community. As
the coordinator of outreach programs such as The Community Food Bank and The
Soaring Eagles Mentor Program, she supports not only her students but also their
families, embodying the spirit of service and compassion.
As one colleague stated, “There is no degree that teaches the profound impact of a big
heart.” Ms. Pelligrino's persistence, dedication, and unwavering encouragement
empower her students to strive for their best selves, guiding them toward a future
brimming with possibility,
Thank you for your tireless dedication to shaping the hearts and minds of our students.
Congratulations, Ms. Pelligrino, on this well-deserved honor.

Deborah Calabrese
Adamsville Primary School
Speech Language Specialist

We are honored to announce that Ms. Deborah Calabrese is Adamsville’s Educational
Services Professional of the Year. Ms. Calabrese is a dedicated speech-language specialist
who has tirelessly served the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District for 18 years,
impacting countless lives at Adamsville Primary School.
Ms. Calabrese's 36 years of experience have made her an invaluable asset to our
community. Her genuine kindness and unwavering support create a nurturing
environment for our youngest learners, especially those with special needs. She
continuously seeks new ways to enhance therapy sessions, incorporating classroom
themes and honoring her students' family cultures.
Beyond the therapy room, Ms. Calabrese's expertise extends to the classroom, where she
generously shares her knowledge with teachers and assistants. Her collaborative spirit and
willingness to help make her the true definition of a team player. Known as the "mom"
of the preschool wing, Debbie goes above and beyond to ensure her colleagues feel appreciated and supported.
Ms. Calabrese's impact reaches far beyond her immediate responsibilities. She has served
as a mentor to fellow specialists and provided guidance to maternity leave replacements.
Her active involvement in school committees demonstrates her commitment to fostering
a sense of community.
Today, we celebrate Ms. Calabrese's unwavering dedication, compassion, and selflessness.
Her contributions have enriched the lives of students, families, and colleagues alike,
leaving a lasting legacy of excellence and unity.
Congratulations, Ms. Calabrese, on this well-deserved recognition. Thank you for your
tireless commitment to our school community.

Listed below are the 22 staff members who were honored.

Teacher of the Year Award - 2023-2024
Alexandra Pelligrino, Adamsville, Special Education Teacher
Susan Winters, Bradley Gardens, Grade 2 Teacher
Kimberly Kaminsky, Crim, Special Education Teacher
Paige Hering-Boehme, Hamilton, Grade 1 Teacher
Angela Randazzo, John F. Kennedy, Grade 3 Teacher
Bryan Smith, Milltown, Physical Education Teacher
Megan Rutkowski, Van Holten, Grade 1 Teacher
Jaclynn Hurley, Eisenhower, Grade 5 Teacher
Taryn Prince, Hillside, Grade 6 Special Education Teacher
Ashlen Udell, Middle School, Teacher of Music
Hsiao-yu Lin (Sherry) Griggs, High School, Teacher of Music
Educational Services Professional Award - 2023-2024

Deborah Calabrese, Adamsville, Speech Language Specialist
Puja Arora, Bradley Gardens, School Counselor
Monica Hammond, Crim, Elementary Teaching Specialist
Kathleen Hughes, Hamilton, School Nurse
Holly Gibson, John F. Kennedy, Intervention Specialist
Stephanie Campisi, Milltown, School Counselor
Sarojini Panwar, Van Holten, Instructional Assistant
Tara Rutkowski, Eisenhower, Instructional Assistant
Maria Giardella, Hillside, Learning Disabilities Teaching Consultant
Rosalia Finazzo, Middle School, Instructional Assistant
Lauren Amisial, High School, Student Assistance Counselor
 Linked below is the program that features the background of each of the 22 honorees.


BRRSD 2024 Staff Recognition Reception Program