Suzanne Casey
Suzanne Casey
Suzanne Casey, department head/technology coordinator in Our Lady of Good Counsel School, Moorestown, has been named New Jersey’s Nonpublic School Teacher of the Year for 2020. The annual competition is sponsored by the New Jersey Council for American Private Education. Casey will receive the award during an online presentation Dec. 15.

“Nonpublic schoolteachers play a key role in preparing their students for the challenges and needs of the 21st century,” said Dr. George Corwell, director of the Office of Education for the New Jersey Catholic Conference and chairman of the selection committee for the award.

“Their efforts contribute to the advancement of parental choice in education so that parents may have their child attend the school that best suits the child’s needs,” he said.

A faculty member in Our Lady of Good Counsel School for 20 years, Casey holds an associate’s degree in political science from Camden County College; a bachelor’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, and over the years she has pursued additional studies at Fairleigh Dickinson.

Casey, who describes her educator qualities as “enthusiastic, connected and innovative,” has achieved various accomplishments during her tenure in the Moorestown Catholic school. Along with teaching computer science, she was instrumental in creating best practices for the use of Google Classroom to enhance student learning; was responsible for creating a Media Club and a Robotics Club, the latter of which resulted in a team to compete in the first LEGO league, and has overseen the renovation of the school’s technology lab. Outside the classroom, she has either chaired or co-chaired school and community fundraisers, including the Annual Fun Walk for Technology and the Paw Walk for a local no-kill pet shelter, and she has also been active for many years with the Girl Scouts.

A seasoned presenter, Casey has hosted technology workshops for the Good Counsel faculty as well as other individuals. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, she worked with school principal Carla Chiarelli to guarantee virtual and in-school learning capabilities that successfully serve the students and their families.

The award has been conducted under the auspices of NJCAPE. All major nonpublic school constituencies in the state are invited to submit a nominee for the award.

“In attempting to meet the challenges of maintaining face-to-face instruction during the current pandemic, the winner and the finalists have responded to the needs of individual students in cases where face-to-face instruction is not possible,” Corwell said, noting that the finalists for the year were Linda Litland, a 24-year teacher at the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy, Livingston, and Amanda Bordogna, a middle school English and social studies teacher in St. Cassian School, Upper Montclair.

“Their dedication and the dedication of so many other teachers in nonpublic schools enhance the lives of both nonpublic school children and their communities in which they live,” Corwell said.