HILLSBOROUGH: Teacher aide Barbara Novak wins two honors

She’s the local and county education support professional of the year

   Barbara Novak has been chosen as the Hillsborough and Somerset County Educational Support Professional of the Year for 2014.
   Ms. Novak has been an instructional assistant at Amsterdam Elementary School for the last 19 years.
   ”She clearly goes above and beyond her job duties, and is beloved by staff, students, and community,” said Daynon Blevins, president of the Hillsborough Education Association. “Barb raises the image of our ESPs not only here in Hillsborough, but in this county and state as well. The example she sets for her colleagues is beyond measure. The certificated staff at Amsterdam secretly, and not so secretly, hope and lobby for her to be part of their classroom.”
   Ms. Novak helps out at pride events, such as the HEA’s annual giveaway booth at a high school football game, and “can always be counted on to lend her support to any initiative or activity the HEA has whether it being showing up to a rally or board meeting, or attending social events hosted by the association,” Mr. Blevins wrote in support of her nomination for the county award.
   Ms. Novak is an active member of the Hillsborough High School Band Parents organization for the past eight years. She is responsible for the upkeep of the old uniforms, chaperoning trips and helping in fundraising activities. She is involved in St. Joseph’s Church, where she serves as an eucharistic minister, teaches CCD classes, and mans concession stands at Rutgers and Somerset Patriots games as a fundraising activity for the church.
   At Monday’s Board of Education meeting, Mr. Blevins said without the work of ESPs, the work of teachers “would come to a screeching halt.”
   Maria DeLucia, second vice president of the HEA, detailed the work of the district’s HEA ESPs. There are 106 full- and parttime instructional assistants, 38 secretaries, 11 clerical assistants, 58 custodians, 16 maintenance workers, seven bus drivers and 29 transportation aides.