Trio Retire from River Edge Schools
The Board of Ed honored outgoing faculty/staff members Emily Baglieri, JoAnn Jennings and James Fiechter during Wednesday's meeting
Saying goodbye is never an easy thing to do and on Wednesday night, the River Edge Schools community did just that as the Board of Education approved the retirements for Emily Baglieri, JoAnn Jennings and James Fiecher.
Baglieri has spent the past 16 years primarily teaching first grade at Roosevelt School although she did spend two years in a second grade class. With a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and a Master's in reading, she began her extensive education career in 1972 Copiague, N.Y. and winding her way through North Jersey at St. Mary's of Rutherford and St. Catherine's of Glen Rock. The River Edge native was nominated for the Teacher of the Year award five teams and honored with the distinction in 2004.
"She has created a dynamic atmosphere in the classroom where her students are always active and engage," Superintendent Dr. Tova Ben Dov said."She has excepted new teachers in to the grade level and made them feel accepted."
Over the years, Baglieri has served as a mentor to new hires in the district and being a guiding force for them. Two former teachers that looked up to Baglieri were Sheri Ash and Kelly Maver.
"I really believe I learned more in her classroom than I did in my formal education classes," Ash said. "It's safe to say she was in her classroom most of August setting up, making sure everything was just right for the kids. As a veteran teacher she never thought to do the same thing each year and instead was always trying new things. I owe much of my success as a first grade teacher to Emily."
"You could be the most nervous child to walk into a classroom and she would make them feel safe," Maver added. "She did that not only for so many first graders but also for so many teachers walking into the district."
Neither Jennings or Fiecher made their impact on the River Edge Schools in a classroom but instead their roles came from behind the scenes as the Cherry Hill main office secretary and Cherry Hill night custodian respectively.
A 20-year veteran with the district, Jennings is considered the ambassador to the general public as she greets visitors, assists students, parents and staff members and sometimes even gives the morning announcements. She is also knwon for sharing her passion for the annual softball game, decorating for the holidays and her singing voice.
"JoAnn has been my secretary since I came here in 2001," Cherry Hill Principal Denise Heitman said. "She is always there for me, teachers, families and the children. It has gotten to the point that I will start a sentence and JoAnn will finish it. She is the heart of Cherry Hill and the pulse as everything begins at the main office."
Fiechter has gone from a security guard in Hackensack to working at Paramus Catholic to the Teaneck Department of Works and Hackensack Library before winding up in River Edge eight years ago as the night custodian.
"Jimmy is a great employee and a great guy," Building and Grounds Superintendent John Lyons said. "During the summer he's by himself an he has a lot of floor waxing to do. But he's someone you can count on and I will truly miss him."