The following is a press release from the Rumson School District:
The Rumson School District has honored two as Teachers of the Year.
Holly Nixon and Lori Zucker were awarded the distinction, among many accolades from the Board of Education, friends, family and colleagues at the April 29 meeting.
“My goal is to bring excitement, curiosity, and enthusiasm to my classroom, and to foster an environment in which students have a joy in learning,” said Nixon, a first grade teacher at Deane-Porter School. “I am dedicated to giving my students an innovative education while above all helping to ensure their well-being, success, and growth.”
“I believe that teaching is one of the most fulfilling professions, and teaching at Forrestdale is a privilege and a pleasure,” said Zucker, an eighth grade English Language Arts teacher. “I love coming to work every day.”
Board President Colleen O’ Connor spoke of the many positive attributes displayed by both Nixon and Zucker, and the ways in which their students benefit.
“They are recognized as special teachers who build strong relationships with their students,” she said, “And they create a productive learning atmosphere where students are recognized and valued.”
Video tributes featuring students and colleagues were created for Nixon and Zucker, and shown at the meeting. Nixon was described as, among other things, “kind” and “caring.” Among the words used to describe Zucker were “warm-hearted” and “joyful.”
Nixon has taught at both Deane-Porter (Pre-K to 3rd grade) and Forrestdale (4th through 8th grade) Schools during her 14 years with the Rumson School District. She received her undergraduate degree from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts and attained her M. Ed. from Kean University in Union, New Jersey. A mother of four, she has been a resident of Rumson for the past 22 years.
“If you want to see patience in action, go see Mrs. Nixon,” said Deane-Porter School Principal Shari Feeney. “She is able to reach students in various ways because she is committed to them – and they know it.
“Mrs. Nixon sees tomorrow in her children’s eyes.”
Zucker has been teaching at Forrestdale School for 10 years. She received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and her M. Ed. from Teachers College/Columbia University in New York City. She began her teaching career at John Adams Elementary School in North Brunswick, New Jersey, and spent 10 years working in educational publishing before returning to the classroom.
“Mrs. Zucker is a respectful, reliable, and dynamic member of our eighth grade team, and is inspirational in so many ways” said Forrestdale School Assistant Principal Amy Romano. “She has a calling in her life, and has mastered the art of being firm yet fair while teaching her students to strive for excellence.”
“She does not work for accolades, but to enrich children’s lives.”
Nixon lives in Rumson with her husband Jeff and their children, Jessica, Amy, Allison, and Gregory, who attended grade school in the Rumson school district.
Zucker lives in Oakhurst with her husband Sam, children Annie and Daniel, nephew Keala, and dog Ziggy.