OCEAN CITY, NJ (August 16, 2018) – Ocean City School District is proud to announce that Carrie Merritt, first grade teacher at Ocean City Primary School, has been named 2018-19 Cape May County’s Teacher of the Year.
“I am honored to recognize the 2018-2019 County Teachers of the Year,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “These 21 educators exemplify the outstanding level of talent and commitment that exists in New Jersey’s public schools. Their hard work and dedication is a critical part of making our state’s public education system one of the best in the country and creating a life-long love of learning for New Jersey’s students.”
“Our greatest resources in public education are our educators,” said Education Commissioner Lamont O. Repollet. “Here in New Jersey, we are blessed to have many brilliant educators, and these 21 who are being recognized as County Teachers of the Year are emblematic of the quality of instruction that we see throughout the Garden State.”
According to the New Jersey Department of Education website, any teachers nominated for County Teacher of the Year must meet ALL of the following requirements:
- Be an exceptionally skilled and dedicated licensed classroom teacher (pre-K through grade 12 in a public or charter school) where teaching is the primary responsibility rather than administrative or supervisory responsibilities; Note: educational services professionals are not eligible to compete for county-level teacher award
- Have achieved a 2016-17 summative rating of at least Effective; If the teacher has not received a 2016-17 summative rating at the time of application, then their practice rating should be at least effective or the equivalent;
- Be a dedicated and skilled teacher leader who anticipates actively continuing in his/her teaching career for at least five (5) more years
- Be an expert in their field who inspires students of all backgrounds and abilities to achieve excellence
- Actively collaborate with colleagues, students, and families to create a strong culture of respect and success
- Demonstrate leadership and innovation in educational activities at the school, district, and/or state and national level that take place both within or outside the school setting
- Have the respect and admiration of students, parents, and colleagues
- Demonstrate poise, eloquence, and the ability to maintain a demanding schedule
- Not have earned the title of School nor County Teacher of the Year for the past five (5) years
“Receiving this award is truly meaningful to me. Teaching is not just a job. Teaching in an art,” said Merritt, “As teachers, we have a huge responsibility to nurture well rounded humans and grow productive, kind citizens. It is humbling to be selected as the Cape May County Teacher of the Year. For, it is me who actually learns and grows each day from my students, colleagues and administrators. I am proud to represent our great city of Ocean City.”
Before realizing teaching was her true calling, Merritt graduated with a business degree from the University of Connecticut. Soon after graduating, she went back to school and attended Montclair State University for her teaching certificate, while also receiving her Master of Arts in Teaching – Early Childhood Education.
In 2006, Merritt accepted a position at Ocean City Primary School. She spent seven years as a Kindergarten teacher before becoming a first-grade teacher. Merritt’s teaching style includes integrating health and wellness into the daily 1st grade curriculum and content. Her students are eager to learn and she uses this opportunity to teach her students, while finding a way to “keep them on the move!”
“We are all very excited for Carrie to receive this recognition. Her passion for education and love for her students that she demonstrates on a daily basis makes her the perfect recipient for Cape May County Teacher of the Year,” said Dr. Kathleen Taylor, Superintendent of the Ocean City School District. “Carrie has created a classroom where students not only learn, but truly enjoy doing so.”
Merritt, now nominated for State Teacher of the Year, said that this award will motivate her to continue to explore and investigate different teaching practices and will be a driving force in continuing to build, develop and grow her craft.