Staff Recognition/DF

The Board has established an annual recognition for those members of our staff who will have been employed in the district for twenty-five+ years by June 30, 2019, or upon retirement.

Listed below are the names of the staff members who were recognized at a Board of Education meeting in June 2019.

Marie Asaro
David Bongiovanni
John Colucci
Debra Duncan
Kelly Garbarino
Thomas Gihorski
Karen Massa
Robin Polo
Maryann Suppa
Thomas Walek

Teacher of the Year Recognition - 2019

Read about our teachers of the year

School Name
Eastlake School Jacqueline Fairweather
Intervale School Jemila Najjar-Keith
Knollwood School Jenna Brennan
Lake Hiawatha School Jacqueline Izzo
Lake Parsippany School Nancy Dwyer
Littleton School Denise Pietropinto
Mount Tabor School Jennifer Cruz
Northvail School Karen McDougall
Rockaway Meadow School Jennifer Cruz
Troy Hills School Jamie Piccirillo
Brooklawn Middle School Donna Ricker
Central Middle School Joanne Hirsch
Parsippany High School Susan Muheisen
Parsippany Hills High School Ross Tarlowe

Distinguished Faculty Award – 2018-2019

In recognition of excellence in teaching, the Parsippany-Troy Hills Board of Education has been sponsoring since 1979 an annual Distinguished Faculty Award. Candidates are selected based on three criteria:

  • recognized excellence in teaching,
  • development of outstanding programs or projects, and
  • commendations from the community and/or grants in recognition of creative and relevant educational programs.

A committee consisting of previous recipients of the award as well as representatives from each of our district’s schools review nominations and recommends a teacher for the award.

There will be one elementary level recipient and one secondary level recipient. The recipient will receive two plaques – one for the individual teacher and one to be displayed at the teacher’s school – as well as a $500 grant to be used by the school in the name of the distinguished teacher.

We are proud to congratulate this year's honorees:

Distinguished Faculty Award – Secondary 2018-2019

Kathleen Effner – Parsippany High School

DFA Effner

Our recipient of this year’s Distinguished Faculty Award has made her mark not only on the school in which she teaches, but also on the broader community of which she has been a vital part. Her selflessness, positive and encouraging leadership style and her dedication to the betterment of the her department make her an excellent teacher. She puts the needs and concerns of her department above her own and consistently looks for ways to make things more efficient. She is proactive and a good listener, who sees the value of giving everyone a voice. Mrs. Kathy Effner has served as the Lead Teacher of the Math Department at PHS for the past ten years.

Kathy is a wonderfully effective teacher who serves as an ideal role model for her department. Her lessons are engaging, organized and focused on the development skills and the application of mathematical concepts. Her students are put at the center of instruction both in and out of the classroom. Kathy is willing to do whatever it takes to help them succeed, devoting time before and after school to providing support and additional instruction.

It is difficult to describe the enthusiasm and passion Kathy has for what she does. She truly loves teaching Math and Computer Science and is most adept at giving every student what he/she needs to succeed and to become interested in and excited about learning. Kathy possesses a strong content knowledge and the ability to communicate concepts and procedures so that her students can understand them. She is an accomplished teacher and can identify where students will struggle and develop strategies to help students avoid misunderstandings. Whether students come to Mrs. Effner’s computer science classroom with little programming knowledge or already a programmer, their learning is expanded, strengthened and becomes an integral part of their high school experience.

Kathy is very focused on promoting Computer Science. When the College Board first established AP Computer Science Principles, Kathy worked to develop this course for our high schools. She proposed courses in Python and Robotics, researched different resources for these courses, and wrote the curricula for these. Kathy works diligently to keep current with the Computer Science world, attending conferences, taking classes, and steadfastly consuming information to enhance her lessons.

She arranges for field trips (plans an NJIT trip each and every year), has speakers (from the Computer Science field such as Microsoft and Pixar) interact with her classes through Google Chat and has invited NJIT personnel, TSS and former students to speak to her classes about various Computer Science topics, the most recent being Cybersecurity, a topic in which her students were most interested. Two of her students were just awarded summer internships with Delta Dental to work on cybersecurity.

Kathy helped to create PHS’ first Robotics Team which has achieved much success, advancing to the Regionals last season. Having seen these students compete, it is a testament to Kathy Effner’s passion for problem-solving and student teamwork that the team has progressed in competition. Kathy also uses this team to mentor younger middle school Robotics participants so the torch can be passed year to year.

Kathy is a consummate professional. She rarely misses work, carries out assignments conscientiously and punctually, keeps meticulous records and is never late. She is very generous of her time assisting students and colleagues before school, after school and during her lunch.

Kathleen Effner is a skilled and caring educator. More than anything, she is an invested individual: in her students, in her growth as a teacher, in promoting Math and Computer Science and in the betterment of Parsippany High School and the district. She possesses the necessary passion, compassion, enthusiasm, intelligence and work ethic to make a difference in the lives of her students, and she does. We are truly privileged to claim her as a Parsippany Teacher.