CRHS celebrates Teacher, Educational Services Professional of Year
The Cumberland Regional School District congratulates Tom Lake as the 2018-2019 Cumberland Regional High School (CRHS) Teacher of the Year and Josette Carter as Educational Services Professional of the Year.
Mr. Lake has taught science courses including Chemistry, Physical Science, and Integrated Lab Science at the honors and CP levels at CRHS since 2006. He brings with him valuable professional experience including more than 20 years in the nuclear power industry, having chosen to enter the teaching profession via the Alternate Route and eventually completing a master’s degree in education and teacher leadership with a 4.0 GPA. His approach to education is one “with a keen sense of the outside world” that “strives to prepare his students for what that brings,” in his words.
Mr. Lake’s contributions to Cumberland Regional include serving as head football coach from 2006 to 2015, during which the Colts made three state playoff appearances and more than 25 players transitioned to collegiate-level play. He has been recognized with selection as Head Coach for the North-South Senior Bowl and the Adam Taliaferro Bowl, in addition to being honored as Coach of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Southern New Jersey, New Jersey Football Hall of Fame, and the South Jersey Times. He also has served the community as president of the Colts All-Sports Booster Club and Hopewell Township Board of Education member, among his other leadership positions.
Mr. Lake describes himself as someone who “seeks to build the better mousetrap” and is “never complacent, comfortable, or satisfied.” He prides himself in being someone who says what he means, does what he says he plans to do, owns his mistakes, and shares his successes with others for their contribution. His teaching style combines elements including the promotion of a safe learning environment, shared insecurities, respect for both common ground and differences, support for personal development, and the celebration of individual successes to inspire and encourage each student.
“It is our job as educators,” Mr. Lake wrote, “to discover the location of students’ buttons for motivation, insecurities, confidence, and fears to facilitate their gaining trust in and a willingness to learn from us. If we can find that hook, we have the best opportunity to reach the student, push the correct button, and make it a shared educational journey rather than a wandering battle.”
Ms. Carter, Cumberland Regional’s Educational Services Professional of the Year, has worked at CRHS since 2004 as a Non-Teaching Assistant, Instructional Aide, and Substitute Teacher. Since 2014, she has served as a fulltime Exceptional Special Education Aide, providing critical support to promote the learning and wellbeing of students dealing with significant physical and/or educational challenges.
As Educational Services Professional of the Year, Ms. Carter is to be commended for her dedication to inspiring students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn; collaborating with colleagues, students, and families to create a strong culture of respect and success; and demonstrating leadership and innovation in educational activities.
She has been described by her colleagues and supervisors as a caring educator who gives respect and is respected by students, who shows strong commitment to her students and to the importance of providing them with a safe environment, and who demonstrates flexibility and the attitude to learn.
The Cumberland Regional school community congratulates Mr. Lake and Ms. Carter on their well-deserved recognition and thanks them for their dedication.