TRENTON, N.J. — The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) has announced that Jenny Allen, a Teacher of Agriculture at Newton High School in Sussex County, is the 2019 ACTE Region I New Teacher of the Year and one of five finalists for the 2019 national award to be announced December 4.
The award recognizes new CTE teachers who have made significant contributions toward innovative and unique career and technical education programs and shown a professional commitment early in their careers.
“It’s a great honor to not only be the state winner, but to be the Region 1 winner is very exciting,” Allen said. “It means I’m doing what I need to do to make sure my students are getting what they need. To see their accomplished smiles and their accomplished work at the end of the day means that I am doing my job to the fullest. I greatly appreciate the support of the administration, which gives me the necessary tools for success.”
Allen is in her fourth year at Newton High School as the Introduction to Agricultural Technology, Introduction to Aquaculture, Floral Design I and II, Landscape/Turf Management Operations, and Landscape Design teacher. She is also one of two FFA advisors. After graduating from Delaware Valley University, Allen worked at Belvidere High School where she trained its Floriculture Career Development Experience (CDE) team for three years. After her final year there, the students won their first state Floriculture competition.
“Ms. Allen’s knowledge and enthusiasm has made a significant impact on our Ag Education students,” Newton High School Principal Jeff Waldron said. “She continues to find creative ways to connect with students and encourage them to strive to reach their full potential. Ms. Allen is a very integral part of the faculty at Newton High School. She is dedicated, resourceful, sets a wonderful example and is very deserving of this honor. We are excited for her to receive this recognition and know that she has a very bright future in education.”
After her hiring at Newton, where she became the school’s the first female agriculture teacher, Allen quickly began training her next state-winning Floriculture team, which won in her second year at the school. In 2018, she was named New Jersey FFA Advisor of the Year. Allen also received the 2017-2018 New Jersey Teachers Turn the Key Award from the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE).
“Jenny is a wonderful example of how an Ag Education teacher makes a remarkable and positive difference in the schools and in the lives of students,” New Jersey Department of Agriculture Secretary Douglas Fisher said.
Allen will attend the ACTE Excellence Awards Banquet in Anaheim, Calif, where the winning teacher will be announced. The ACTE Excellence Awards recognize individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to CTE, programs that exemplify the highest standards and organizations that have conducted activities to promote and expand CTE programs. For more information about the ACTE Excellence Awards, visit https://www.acteonline.org.
This is the third consecutive year a New Jersey Ag Education teacher has been the ACTE Region 1 New Teacher of the Year. The two previous winners were Salem County Technical School’s Keely DiTizio in 2017 and Woodstown High School’s Deanna Miller in 2018.
Salem, Burlington County Ag Education Teachers honored
Two other New Jersey Ag Education were also honored recently.
Matt DiTizio, the agricultural mechanics teacher at Salem County Technical School, was selected for the NAAE “Teacher Turn the Key” program. It supports new teachers’ attendance to professional development workshops at the NAAE /ACTE conventions in December.
Dr. Robin McLean, the agriculture teacher at Northern Burlington County Regional Middle School, was recognized as the Region VI NAAE Teacher Mentor. This award is designed to recognize experienced teachers who have influenced and motivated beginning teachers to enter and stay in the teaching profession. Robin will be recognized at the 2019 NAAE Convention in Anaheim, Calif.
–Jeff Wolfe, NJDA