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Immaculata’s Elaine Petsu Wins State Honors

Department Chair and Math teacher Elaine Petsu Recognized by the State
Posted on 10/08/2018
Elaine PetsuElaine Petsu's 40-year distinguished education career earns kudos for her contributions to her students and Immaculata.

Somerville, NJ—In its 25th anniversary of the New Jersey Nonpublic School Teacher of the Year Program, Immaculata's Math teacher and Department Chair Elaine Petsu of the Diocese of Metuchen was designated as one of the two semi-finalists from a field of candidates. Stephen Mitchell of Rutgers Prep was also a semi-finalist and Julia Guthrie of Notre Dame Academy of Palisades Park was tapped as the Teacher of the Year. The Nonpublic School Teacher of the Years Award is conducted under the auspices of the NJ Council for American Private Education (NJ CAPE). This award is significant, because almost one out of every eight students in NJ is educated in a non-public school, a much higher percentage than the nation as a whole.

Immaculata Head of School Joan Silo applauded Elaine Petsu's distinguished 40-year career in education, the majority of which she has served at Immaculata. "Having Mrs. Petsu on our staff for nearly 33 years has indeed been a blessing for generations of  Immaculata students," says Joan Silo. "Not only is she a first rate educator, who teaches many of our top classes, but as Department Chair, she has molded our teachers and curriculum to meet the needs of the 21st century student."  

Elaine Petsu has coached the school's Moody's/ Mathworks Mega Math Challenge efforts over several years in which her teams won $17,500. She has been published in Mathematics Teacher, The Statistical Teacher Network Newsletter, and the AMTNJ Journal. In addition, she has been an active referee for the The Mathematics Teacher for over 40 years and has served on many professional committees, notably the development team for AYA Mathematics of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Yet her influence here goes beyond Mathematics. Elaine Petsu is one of the original mentors in Immaculata's Marian Scholars Program, designed to enhance learning for advanced students. She was chosen as an Immaculata Teacher of the Year and was nominated for several teaching honors by college organizations and corporations. Her leadership skills have been utilized in her two-time chairmanship of the Steering Committee for Middle States for Immaculata, her chairmanship of the Blue Ribbon School Committee, and her service on the Principal Search Committee this spring.

A summa cum laude graduate of St. Peter's University in Mathematics and Master's degree recipient in Mathematics from Rutgers University, Elaine Petsu considers herself a lifelong learner. "As a teacher, I model that learning is exciting. Although I teach Mathematics, I incorporate other subjects into my classroom in an attempt to hook students on Math. Seeing my students evolve into learners gives me great satisfaction. I delight in seeing them develop, but at the same time I am humbled to think that I may have helped them to decide on career paths."

According to Joan Silo, "The entire Immaculata community congratulates Elaine Petsu on this tremendous honor. She has touched the futures of so many Spartans and this is our chance to thank her for a lifetime of shaping students and leading this school to a better place."

To read the full article on Elaine's career and achievements, click here.