Clark Teacher Receives Prestigious Statewide Award

CLARK — Erin Reilly, a special education teacher at Valley Road in the Clark School District, was the recipient of the prestigious “Innovations In Special Education” Award through the New Jersey School Boards Association.

Reilly received the award for her self-esteem building, inclusive, and visionary program “Lunch Monitors.” Through this program, students, both general and special education, assume the role of lunch monitors to assure each classmate is included and participates in both lunchroom and recess activities. The program was created by Reilly, who is now in her third year of teaching at Valley Road School.


Reilly was selected for this statewide recognition from 565 districts in New Jersey. A total of 62 programs were nominated throughout the state, and the New Jersey School Boards Association selected the 10 programs they viewed as best practices throughout New Jersey Public Schools. New Jersey School Boards Association anticipates that by highlighting these innovative programs, other districts throughout the state can adopt them into their schools.

As part of her recognition, Reilly is invited to an awards ceremony in Princeton during Special Education Week in New Jersey, on May 13. Present at the awards ceremony will be the governor, commissioner of education, and members of the state Legislature. In addition, Reilly’s “Lunch Monitors’ Program” will be written about in the New Jersey School Board Association’s School Leader Magazine, which is mailed to every school in New Jersey.

In commenting on Reilly’s award, Superintendent of Schools Kenneth Knops remarked, “As a district we are extremely proud of Erin Reilly. She is a very hard-working, innovative, and creative teacher who gives countless hours above and beyond the school day to create programs for her students and is always in search of new and innovative ways to deliver the curriculum. She is well respected by all facets of the school community, and her award is very deserving.”

In the photograph above, Valley Road Teacher Erin Reilly shares her award winning program “Lunch Monitors” with Board of Education Member Henry Varriano, Interim Supervisor of Special Services Marie Sarosy, Superintendent of Schools Kenneth Knops, and Valley Road School Principal Joseph Beltramba. (Photo courtesy of Clark Public Schools)

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