Educators from Ocean City, Absecon and Vineland are among the finalists for the Governor’s Teacher of the Year award, the state Department of Education announced Tuesday.

The state Teacher of the Year will be selected from finalists from each of New Jersey’s 21 counties. Local winners are Amy Andersen, American Sign Language teacher from Ocean City High School; Kelly Montgomery, math teacher from Emma C. Attales Middle School in Absecon; and Paul Lonergan, special education teacher from Vineland High School.

“I am tremendously honored by this nomination,” Andersen said. “My goal is to pass on to my students the love and passion that I have discovered for American Sign Language and the deaf community. I know I have been successful when this spark catches and students find their future careers in ASL.”

County teachers of the year are first selected as teachers of the year at the school level through the Governor’s Educator of the Year program.

“New Jersey has many great teachers, and this award is a tribute to the talent, professionalism and dedication of these 21 educators to inspire the children they teach. I look forward to learning more from them in the months to come,” New Jersey Education Commissioner Kimberley Harrington said.

The county teachers of the year act as state representatives to their local districts and serve on state committees and task forces to share their views at the state level.

The state Teacher of the Year winner will be selected in October and will go on to represent New Jersey at the National Teacher of the Year competition.

Contact:

609-272-7251 CLowe@pressofac.com

Twitter @clairelowe

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.