Stockton Student Teacher Earns State Recognition
Galloway, N.J. – Stockton University’s Jalynn Pagano, of Bayville, was one of 15 student teachers selected Wednesday as a New Jersey Distinguished Clinical Intern of the Year.
Pagano, who earned her teaching certification in Secondary Mathematics, was recognized during an annual ceremony as part of a collaborative program between the New Jersey Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and the New Jersey Department of Education.
“We are extremely proud of Jalynn and all of our nominees,” said Claudine Keenan, Stockton’s dean of the School of Education. “This is a very competitive achievement as it also includes graduate education students. This continues to be a challenging time for educators, and we appreciate the dedication of our student teachers, their teaching mentors and our partner school districts in helping guide the next generation of educators.”
The program is designed to publicly recognize the top graduates of the 25 colleges and universities in New Jersey that have educator preparation programs. Since 1985, each school has nominated its top three most outstanding prospective teachers and 15 are selected by an independent panel of educators and named Distinguished Clinical Interns.
Pagano was called “a true math geek” by her mentor Kathleen Cornelius, a math teacher at Southern Regional High School in Stafford Township.
“I won the lottery when Jalynn was assigned to me,” Cornelius said. “She is enthusiastic, driven, smart, responsible, professional and most important – she cares deeply about kids and their educational experience.”
Building relationships and supporting students inside and outside of the classroom was one of the most important things Pagano said she learned from Cornelius.
“She has truly inspired me to continue to learn and reflect on my work so that I can be the best teacher that I can be for my students,” said Pagano, who graduated summa cum laude in May with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics.
Stockton’s other nominees this year were Erin Flynn, of Beach Haven Crest, and Chelsea Williams, of Millville.
Flynn earned her certification in Early Childhood Education and worked with mentor Katelyn Micek, a second-grade teacher at Beach Haven School.
“When Erin joined our classroom, the students were immediately drawn to her genuinely positive and eager personality,” Micek said. “The way Erin makes a point to find time in her day to allow for the students to have fun or creative time is impeccable.”
Flynn graduated in May with a Bachelor of Arts in Teacher Education.
Williams worked at the Fairfield Township School to earn her certification in Elementary Education. Her mentor was Shawna Beals-Rivera, a 2005 Stockton Education graduate who also earned her master’s degree in Holocaust and Genocide Studies from Stockton in 2009.
“Mrs. Beals-Rivera gave me the ability to take over the classroom and make it my own,” Williams said. “She allowed me to try new ideas and be as creative as I wanted to be, while guiding me.”
Williams graduated in May magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies.
-- Story by Mark Melhorn