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Congratulations to the Following Teachers!

  • APRIL BARRY

    Media Center Specialist and School Librarian 
    Red Bank Regional High School

    Mrs. Barry is described as pure sunshine to her co-workers and students. She is always optimistic, happy, and uplifting. Mrs. Barry always has a kind word, a smile, and good advice for everyone she comes across in the school halls. She organizes groups, orders books, and takes the time to greet everyone happily and sincerely.  She co-found the RBR Feminist Group and always organizes the meetings, but lets the students lead and take credit for everything.  She connects with individuals and always makes you feel like you are the only one and most important person in the room.

    Mrs. Barry is always available for questions, concerns, events and last minute changes. This is not just her job and career but her passion. She organizes classes and events for both students and staff.  Those classes are interesting, informative and beneficial. Mrs. Barry helps teachers with classes, students with material and anyone else with books and information they need to succeed. For being one of the most helpful people to walk through the doors of Red Bank Regional High School, we honor Mrs. Barry as a Teacher Who Rocks.

  • MICHAEL HEGEDUS

    Chinese Teacher
    Seton Hall Prep

    Mr. Hegedus’s ability to teach Chinese at Seton Hall Prep is exceptional. Chinese teacher peers have been blown away with his skills and technological knowledge that he has presented to them. He has shown other teachers many different websites that they could use to improve their students’ knowledge and proficiency and has provided excellent recommendations for teaching.  Because Mr. Hegedus is a non-native speaker of Chinese, his insights into how to teach Chinese to students are outstanding. He provided teachers with ideas on how to help students learn Chinese characters and all the other teachers, all native speakers of Chinese, were delighted with his suggestions. They returned to the next session stating that Michael’s ideas “worked.” Since that first time some 10 years ago, Michael has presented every year at the Roundtable discussions. Each time, participants requested that he return later in the year to provide even more ideas and suggestions. Michael became a very valuable member of the Roundtable and took on a leadership role. At Saturday sessions, other Chinese teachers always asked him for advice on how to improve their teaching, and he was very generous with his knowledge and time. He is a treasured member of our group. Unfortunately, since the pandemic, we have had to cancel many sessions or hold them via Zoom, but Michael always comes through for us.

    Mr. Hegedus has been teaching for the past 10 years at Seton Hall Preparatory School where he helped to design and develop the Chinese program. He was originally hired to teach both Spanish and Chinese, but his Chinese classes became so popular that the administration changed his schedule to make him become a full-time teacher in Chinese. He presently teaches all levels of Chinese and has become a strong proponent for encouraging his students to take his AP Chinese course. They always perform well on the AP exam and show increased proficiency each year, a credit to Mr. Hegedus’s teaching. His courses are so popular that last year they had to add another part time teacher to pick up the extra classes. He has an impressive work ethic and dedication to his students. He encourages them to work hard and apply for opportunities to improve their Chinese. Mr. Hegedus is the model teacher who cares about his students and helps them achieve a great deal of success. He has also accompanied his students to China in wonderful trips where they experienced local customs and were able to talk to local residents and practice their Chinese.

    Mr. Hegedus is also involved in helping others who are less fortunate. He is active in Feeding America, a hunger relief organization, and encourages his students to follow his lead and take part in helping others. He is a model citizen who involves his students in many extra-curricular civic activities. He has organized activities in school that encourage his students to be active members of a productive society. He has worked with his students to fulfill their community service projects by helping to make the lives of others better.

    In addition to Mr. Hegedus’s wonderful qualities as a teacher, he has developed his leadership abilities in the field of Chinese. For the past few summers, he was asked to teach in a Chinese STARTALK program in South Carolina. He is willing to share his knowledge of teaching with many different groups.  He has also organized trips to China for his students and has informed other members of school communities on the benefits of learning Chinese. A glance at his resumé shows that wherever Michael goes, he becomes an active and respected member of the community. He is not only a superb teacher, he is a natural leader. In 2019, Michael Hegedus received the Outstanding Chinese Teacher Award from the Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools (CLASS). For his dedication to teaching the Chinese language and culture, we honor Mr. Hegedus as a Teacher Who Rocks.