picks Spotlight

National Teacher Appreciation Day: Red Bank educators who are making a difference

May 7, 2019 is National Teacher Appreciation Day, “a day for honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives.” They’re educating great minds through their hard work and determination, with those students one day becoming our future leaders.

National Teacher Appreciation Day: Red Bank educators who are making a difference

For this piece, we’re working with superintendent Dr. Jared Rumage and the Red Bank Borough Public School system to highlight some of the local educators in Red Bank who are making a significant difference. Here they are in no particular order, so definitely check them out!


Samantha Arauz

Red Bank Middle School

Samantha Arauz has worked at the Red Bank Middle School since 2004, and she has definitely asserted herself within our school community. She has proven to be a devoted and dedicated teacher leader and team-player. Sam establishes a supportive, challenging, and positive learning environment for her 5th-grade math students. She works with her co-teacher to prepare lessons that have clear learning goals and that allow her to celebrate her students’ successes.

She maintains positive relationships with her students and one truly feels the sense of ‘family’ when you walk into her classroom! Sam always makes her teaching fun and memorable. Her passion, love, and respect for her students are evident on a daily basis.

When asked what she loves most about teaching, Samantha said, “One day this year, I found a small note on my desk. When I picked it up and turned it over it said, “thank you for believing in me.” No name, just the note, but I knew exactly who it was from. That’s what I love most about teaching…those little, unexpected moments when you realize that what you do every single day matters and makes a difference in the life of my students!

Samantha Arauz


Justine Coppola

Red Bank Middle School

Justine Coppola has been at the Red Bank Middle School for over 22 years and she continues to be as devoted to her students as the day she started! She is currently the 5th grade Language Arts teacher who has established a loving and supportive learning environment for all of her students.

She effectively prepares Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop lessons that allow the learning to be meaningful and fun for her students. Justine maintains positive and loving relationships with her 5th graders, and her love of teaching continues to shine through on a daily basis.

When asked what she loves most about teaching, Justine said, “What I love most about teaching? Well this may just be the hardest question to answer in only a few sentences. After over 22 years of teaching students between grades K-8, I have come to love so much about teaching. One of the things that holds true in my heart is knowing that it takes only one teacher to turn a child’s life around and to help them believe in themselves. I’d like to think that my students come to school and enter my classroom with a smile every day with the feeling that I am that teacher for them.

Justine Coppola


Phyllis Tartaglia

Red Bank Middle School

For the last 13 years, Phyllis Tartaglia has been a Physical Education teacher at the Red Bank Middle School. Mrs. Tartaglia is an amazing teacher and no one has more style and charisma than Phyllis!

She provides a learning environment that improves students’ skills individually, as well as, develops collaborative skills that promote teamwork and sportsmanship. Her lessons are meaningful and engaging so that ALL students have the chance to explore a great variety of activities. One of her students’ favorite units of study is her gymnastics unit. Students truly enjoy her class, and they push themselves to tackle new challenges each and every day.

When asked what she loves most about teaching, Phyllis said, “What I love most about teaching is watching the joy, the smiles, and the laughter from my students. Having had the privilege of sharing my love for fitness, creative movement, health and dance as a career, over a lifetime, makes me feel very blessed.

Phyllis Tartaglia


Holcombe Hurd

Red Bank Middle School

Holcombe Hurd has been inspiring young minds in the creative arts, specifically music education for nearly 20 years at the Red Bank Middle School. Mr. Hurd creates music lessons that allow every learner in his class to meet success.

If you visit his room, you will see students engaged, excited, and most importantly, you will see students learning right before your eyes! Mr. Hurd is one of those teachers whose former students love to come back and visit! That is one of the biggest compliments students can give a teacher.

When Mr. Hurd was asked what he loves most about teaching he said, “What I love most about teaching is being a small part of the arc of excellence as an artist develops their craft. Somewhere inside the continuum, from the Bach Suites for Cello to Round Midnight by Monk exists a river of emotion. I have lived the last 25 years trying to guide students down the rapids in this river. What begins with proficiency grows into commitment and is flavored by drive. As the years pass and pedagogical foundations become part of the bedrock of performance personality, the hidden creative genius begins to shine. My life’s work as a teacher has been to help students unlock the confidence to interpret, emote and compose.”

Holcombe Hurd


Kelly Hogan

Red Bank Primary School

Miss Kelly Hogan has been a teacher in the Red Bank Borough Public Schools for the past nine years. For seven years, Kelly worked as a Pre-Kindergarten teacher in an inclusion setting.

During this time, she perfected her craft while patiently working with our youngest learners. As a lifelong learner, Kelly made the switch two years ago to Grade 2 where she is now a classroom teacher working in an inclusion setting. Miss Hogan is taking her knowledge and experience in Special Education and applying it to a whole new age level. Kelly is an active member of our PTO and participates in various school and community events.

When asked what she loves most about teaching, Kelly stated, “I love being able to reach out to kids and families that I grew up around and helping them become successful by whatever means possible.

Kelly Hogan


Carol Boehm

Red Bank Primary School

Carol Boehm has taught music for eighteen years in the Red Bank Borough Public Schools. She goes above and beyond instructing music class. She organizes the Red Bank Primary School Chorus and collaborates with the Count Basie Center for the Arts to produce Kids on Broadway.

Kids on Broadway not only performs for the school community, but for the residents in Red Bank at the Senior Center and the Atrium. Additionally, Mrs. Boehm always makes herself available to assist teachers in celebratory performances for many events throughout the school year.

When asked what she loves most about teaching, Carol said, “Inspiring students to do their best and find their passion.

Carol Boehm


Kelly Saccone

Red Bank Primary School

Mrs. Kelly Saccone has been a Kindergarten teacher at the Red Bank Primary School for the past ten years.

When asked what she loves most about teaching, Kelly said, “I absolutely love teaching Kindergarten because I get to see the students go from knowing random letters to actually reading and the excitement that comes with that!

Kelly continues her own professional development by studying the progression of reading skills on her own time and attending classes outside of her work hours. She understands the social and emotional development of kindergarteners and promotes their creative play side!

Kelly Saccone


Beth Ann Moran

Red Bank Primary School

Mrs. Beth Ann Moran has been a Grade 1 teacher at Red Bank Primary School for almost 25 years. Mrs. Moran is a Red Bank cheerleader – she supports students and families in and out of the classroom, attends all district events, and organizes many of the school’s PTO events.

Mrs. Moran hosts various activities in her classroom with families and food to celebrate different cultures and individual differences. Beth opens her classroom to colleagues and future educators whom she welcomes with open arms.

When asked what she loves most about teaching, Beth said, “Getting kids to love school is my number one priority.”

Beth Ann Moran

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