2020-2021 Teacher and Educational Services Professionals of the Year

Teachers and Educational Services Professionals of the Year
Photo: Teachers and Educational Services Professionals of the Year.  From left to right: Ms. MaryJo Callanan, Mr. Steven Casamento, Mr. William Rawson, and Mr. Jay Uhl.

We are pleased to announce the 2020-2021 Teachers and Educational Services Professionals of the year for Pascack Hills and Pascack Valley High Schools!  This year, we recognize Mr. Jay Uhl (Pascack Hills Mathematics and Computer Science teacher) and Mr. William Rawson (Pascack Valley English teacher) as our Teachers of the Year.  Our Educational Services Professionals of the Year are Mr. Steven Casamento (Pascack Hills Counselor, Guidance and Counseling Services) and Ms. MaryJo Callanan (Pascack Valley Counselor, Guidance and Counseling Services).

When recognizing each teacher and professional in their respective classrooms and offices (in some cases, virtual this year), Superintendent Gundersen shared quotes from students and colleagues who nominated the recipients.  Below, are a few of these quotes, which best describe the character of the recipients, and their impact on our school community.

Photo: Mr. Jay Uhl

Mr. Jay Uhl

Pascack Hills Mathematics and Computer Science teacher

"Mr. Uhl comes to class every day with a good attitude. Especially during COVID-19, Mr. Uhl has proved himself to be a great all around person. He understands that this is a weird shift for his students, and he's always checking in to make sure we're doing alright."  -- Student

“Jay has done an amazing job establishing a computer science curriculum at Pascack Hills.  He blends teaching, examples, and independent student time to help them become skilled programmers.  All of the students I speak with love his class and are proud of the skills they are acquiring.  The amount of time he spends during lunch and after school with his students is exceptional.” -- Colleague

Photo: Mr. William Rawson

Mr. William Rawson

Pascack Valley English teacher

"Mr. Rawson is a great teacher who cares about each and every one of his students. He has pushed me to become a better journalist, and is always there when I need help. He is someone that I can easily talk to, and he has helped to shape my high school experience, and who I am today." -- Student

“...Bill goes above and beyond. I would venture to say that Bill never misses a school play, a talent show, or an open mic night. I have even seen him sing a duet at karaoke night! Last summer he met students from One Spirit on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation to volunteer.  From athletics to the arts to the classroom, students and teachers recognize the dedication Bill has to our school. I believe Bill represents the best of us and is the one most worthy of being named teacher of the year.” -- Colleague
Photo: Mr. Casamento

Mr. Steven Casamento

Pascack Hills Counselor, Guidance and Counseling Services 

"Mr. Casamento has been so helpful throughout the college process, and his help has allowed me to help out some of my friends with college work too. He's always willing to meet to discuss any questions or issues I have, and if I ever need something from him he's always on top of it." -- Student

"Steve has been great to work with. Steve approaches all situations with compassion, he loves collaborating with teachers and his peers to determine how to help kids ... work through their challenges. And when things get tough, as they always do, you can guarantee that Steve will have a smile on his face." -- Colleague
Photo: Ms. MaryJo Callanan

Ms. MaryJo Callanan

Pascack Valley Counselor, Guidance and Counseling Services

"[Ms.] Callanan has been my guidance counselor all four years and has been so supportive, personable, and helpful to [me] getting involved in Pascack Valley and completing my college applications. I believe she truly tries to match me with the most appropriate school that would allow me to thrive. She has also nominated me for community service projects that she knows I would [be] interested in and would love to take on. She's always open for meetings and answering emails for quick questions and really does understand my concerns as a student and supports my individual decisions.” -- Student 

“[Ms. Callanan] was very helpful when I was switching from virtual to hybrid in person. She's helpful in general. She's very understanding and nice. She always helps when I have questions and I can tell she loves her job.” -- Student

We congratulate all of this year's recipients for all of their continued efforts to make our district a special place.

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