The Governor's Educator of the Year Program highlights educational innovation, student achievement, exemplary teaching, and important services outside the classroom environment that lead to student success. PCTVS is proud to have four staff members of educators and educational specialists honored with this esteemed recognition!
STEM Educator of the Year is Biomedical Innovation Instructor, Crystal DiCosmo-Ponticello, Ph.D. Crystal has been an educator at the STEM Academy since 2018 and has worked tirelessly constructing innovative and engaging lessons for her students. She has an extensive background in scientific research as well as skills-based experience. Crystal spends much of her time helping others taking part in Global Response & Assistance (GERA), St. Peter’s Haven Food Drive, Wreaths Across America, and CASA of Passaic County School Supply Drive. Crystal holds her BA in Biological Sciences from Rutgers University and her Ph.D. in Molecular Pathology and Immunology from UMDNJ.
STEM Educational Specialist of the Year is crisis counselor and Student Assistance Coordinator Jennifer Presing. She has been a part of the STEM community for 4 years and has worked in education for 12 years. Jennifer is a member of many committees and organizations, among them: the Association of Student Assistance Professionals in New Jersey and Traumatic Loss Coalition. A county wide coalition that provides support to schools following a traumatic event. As an Education Specialist, Jennifer is committed to her students. She holds a master’s degree in Social Work from Kean university, a license in Clinical Social Work and is certified as a Student Assistance Coordinator.
Passaic County Technical Institute:
Michael G. Pettineo
PCTI Educator of the Year is Mathematics instructor Michael Pettineo. Michael has worked in education for 18 years and has for the last 14 years worked at PCTI. He is the assistant coach for the Bowling team and has, for the last 12 years, worked as a teacher for the Academic Assistance Program. In his free time Michael is dedicated to helping others, working on several community outreach initiatives for those in need. Michael is passionate and devoted to teaching and helping others. Michael received his degree from William Paterson University and is dual certified in Math and Special Education.
PCTI Education Specialist of the Year is Transition Coordinator Lourdes Lopez. Lourdes has worked for PCTI for 17 years. Lourdes is passionate in helping her students, providing them with self-advocacy workshops to teach special needs students the strategies they need to be successful. She is also a member of the New Jersey Organization of Learning Consultant and Treasurer of Friends of Hispanic Research Information Center (HRIC). Lourdes holds a master’s degree in Education from Montclair State University and is certified in Spanish, Special Education, and as a Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant (LDTC).
Congratulations to our PCTI & STEM teachers and staff that have been selected for this honorable award!