The awards honored the accomplishments of outstanding high school teachers who had a profound impact on the life and education of current Monmouth University seniors.
The awards were instituted more than a decade ago by Monmouth University Life Trustee William Roberts, who said that he wants to help instill a passion for community involvement in the students who nominated the selected teachers.
He asserted that by engaging in a community-building activity, people “feel better physically than [they] do at other times. I don’t know why that is, but I’ve never heard anyone disagree with me on that subject.”
Roberts also said he worried that people may only equate philanthropy with money. “Do not think that because you’re not in a position to give money that it’s the only commodity that works in community. What works in community, above all, is time.”
This year’s dinner honored the following teachers, whose biographies are followed by a nominating statement from a Monmouth University student:
Mr. Dominique Gerard
Mr. Gerard is currently the Upper School Director at Abington Friends School in Jenkintown, Pa. He taught previously at Montclair Kimberley Academy in Montclair, N.J.
Nominated by Carlie Till.
“He made high school more than just a place we went for class; he made school a home, a place to learn about yourself and grow, to push yourself to new limits, to not be afraid of failing, to try new things, and most importantly, to learn to love the process of learning. Without Mr. Gerard, my high school experience would not have been nearly as good as it was.”
Ms. Irene Gilman ‘73
Ms. Gilman taught at Ocean Township High School in Oakhurst, N.J., until her retirement in 2016. She is a 1973 graduate of Monmouth College and credits a number of her Monmouth professors with cementing her desire to become an educator.
Nominated by Sarah Gerstein.
“Mrs. Gilman was more than a teacher to me, but she was a supporter and role model. [While in high school, my sister was diagnosed with leukemia and] Mrs. Gilman always checked-in on how my family was doing; her warm personality truly was comforting and it was nice to know that there were teachers like her in the school community, supporting my sister and family’s journey. She continues to check in to see how I’m doing today.”
Ms. Dana Harrington
Ms. Harrington is a math teacher at West Morris Central High School in Chester, N.J.
Nominated by Madeline Remshifski.
“Ms. Harrington made me realize that my [learning] disability was not a burden or an excuse. She made me realize that it was simply a difference, and with some hard work and the right guidance I could achieve all my dreams. … Ms. Harrington shaped the learner I had become, and still strive to be. She gave me irreplaceable confidence in myself.”