Angela DiFranco '11 of Bordentown Township was recognized by the state Department of Education as a 2011 New Jersey Distinguished Student Teacher award recipient. The prestigious honor recognizes the 15 most outstanding prospective teachers in the state. DiFranco, who earned dual bachelor’s degrees in Elementary Education and Psychology, graduated summa cum laude from Rider’s School of Education in December 2010.
DiFranco, who also minored in Special Education at Rider, was recognized for her exceptional work at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in Trenton, where she student-taught special education classes in grades 2 through 5. DiFranco has been contracted to begin teaching this fall in the New Brunswick Public School District, where she will also work with elementary-school students enrolled in the district’s special education program.
“It’s what I’m passionate about,” said DiFranco of special education. She added that she also prefers the challenges present in many urban districts, reasoning that, “it’s where I feel I can make the most change.”
Since 1985, the presidents of New Jersey’s teacher training institutions have been invited to submit the dossiers of their five most outstanding prospective teachers into competition for this award. An independent panel of esteemed New Jersey educators evaluates these dossiers to select the award recipients.
This marks the second consecutive year that a Rider graduate has been recognized as a New Jersey Distinguished Student Teacher. Emily DiPaolo '10 of Newton, N.J., was honored in 2010.