Meet Newark’s 2019 Teacher of the Year

Welcome to Chalkbeat Newark's weekly newsletter. Happy Eid al-Fitr! Today, read about one of Newark’s top teachers, a troubled bus company, and more.

— Patrick Wall, senior reporter

The big story

Tamara Leveridge Newark Teacher of the Year 2019

Tamara Leveridge got a big surprise Monday.

The English teacher at Newark’s Ivy Hill School was mid-lesson Monday morning when Superintendent Roger León entered her classroom bearing flowers and balloons. Leveridge had been selected as Newark’s Teacher of the Year.

“It was a nice surprise,” the sixth-grade teacher told a flock of reporters trailing the superintendent. “The cameras in my face — not so much.”

Leveridge, who has taught for 11 years, is known for her humility. Also her passion for teaching and her ease at building relationships with students. She does that partly through her wry sense of humor — which is why she likes teaching middle-schoolers.

“They get my sarcasm,” she said.

Read the full story.

Newark news & events

Local education reporting and upcoming events.

Facilities fix…

  • A consultant who was recently dismissed from the Paterson school district will help Newark create a plan to improve its school buildings. TAPinto Newark

Safety concerns…

  • A bus company contracted by Newark and several other districts had 84 percent of its buses fail inspections, while several of its drivers lacked the proper credentials., Newark Patch, NBC New York

Class of 2019…

  • Nearly all 154 graduates of Newark’s North Star Academy high school are heading to college, including several Ivy League schools. TAPinto Newark

Never too late…

  • After years of trying, a 60-year-old Newark woman will soon receive her high school diploma from a Newark school for adult learners. TAPinto Newark

News from Trenton & beyond

Reporting on statewide education issues that matter for Newark.

Bond delay…

  • Lawmakers are upset that $625 million in voter-approved funding for libraries and school infrastructure has yet to reach localities and districts. NJ Spotlight

School segregation…

  • A year after civil-rights advocates and students sued the state to desegregate New Jersey public schools, negotiations have broken down and the case may be headed to trial.

Church-state divide…

  • Charter schools that lease space from churches face potential conflicts — such as when a Catholic church recently demanded that a Bergen County charter school cover up part of a student’s LGBT mural.

SAT scores…

  • Here are the scores for every high school in the state.

National news…

  • The College Board tried to use a research-backed strategy to get high-achieving, low-income students to apply to more selective colleges — but it didn’t work. Chalkbeat

Extra credit

Want to showcase your school or an upcoming education event? Send me photos and details.

STC Newark PACE program

A dozen Newark 11th-graders recently got a crash course in actuary work through the Prudential Actuary Career Experience (PACE). The new two-day program created by Prudential and Schools That Can-Newark aims to create a pipeline for Newark students into highly competitive actuary and financial services jobs.

Photo credit: Schools That Can-Newark