Doyle And Valdes-Dalton Named Outstanding Teachers

Westfield Public School teachers James Doyle and Cecilia Valdes-Dalton were named Outstanding Intermediate School Teachers for 2017 by the Optimist Club of Westfield and were honored by the Westfield Board of Education on June 13.
Doyle and Valdes-Dalton are the recipients of the 20th annual Optimist award, established in 1998 to recognize the importance of teaching in the intermediate grades. The award is presented annually to two Westfield teachers – one each from Edison and Roosevelt Intermediate Schools. James Doyle has been teaching concert band at Roosevelt Intermediate School for 7½ years. He leads the Roosevelt jazz program, which meets before school three days a week, and he co-leads the Afternoon Ramble – a rock and roll club that meets once a week after school. A former mentor for the Teddy Roosevelt Scholar program, Mr. Doyle is currently a member of the school’s Sunshine Committee, Leadership Committee and the Intervention and Referral Services team.
He has earned two degrees from Montclair State University — a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and a Master’s in Education Leadership. Mr. Doyle is a member of the New Jersey Music Educators Association and the Central Jersey Music Educators Association.
A letter of nomination from a student reads, “Mr. Doyle is a very good teacher who has made me learn so much about my instrument but in a non-pushy way. . . He has changed my life and my life as a musician.”
A Roosevelt parent adds, “Mr. Doyle brings enthusiasm, integrity and energy to his classrooms. Best of all, he is a great role model for middle school students.”
In commenting on receiving the Optimist Award, Mr. Doyle said, “I am beyond honored to receive this recognition, especially considering the many dedicated and talented teachers I work with. I will continue working every day to become a better teacher.”
Cecilia Valdes-Dalton is a Special Education teacher, who is in her 11th year at Edison Intermediate School in Westfield, where she also has taught 7th grade replacement math. She is coadvisor for Edison’s chapter of Girls Learn International, developing awareness for equal education for girls, especially in third world countries. She also serves as on the Intervention and Referral Services team as well as the school’s Safety and Leadership teams.
Mrs. Valdes-Dalton earned a Bachelor of Art degree from Pace University in Political Science and a Master degree in Cross Categorical Special Education from the University of Phoenix. She is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children, the Association of Math Teachers of NJ, and the National Association of Special Education Teachers.
In nominating Mrs. Valdes-Dalton, a colleague wrote, “She selflessly gives her time outside of the scheduled class to give students extra help, both with organization and academic support.” Colleagues expressed appreciation for the mentoring generously provided by Mrs. Valdes- Dalton, “As first year teachers at Edison Intermediate School four years ago, Cecilia made our experiences exponentially more successful.”
In commenting on being selected for the Optimist Award, Mrs. Valdes-Dalton said, “It is truly an honor to receive this recognition. I am grateful every day to go to work doing something I absolutely love. On a daily basis, I am surrounded by teachers, administrators and students that inspire me to not only become a better teacher, but a better person. I only hope that I am able to provide them with a fraction of the inspiration they give to me.”
The Optimist Club of Westfield will honor Doyle and Valdes-Dalton at a dinner.

(above) Special Education teacher Cecilia Valdes-Dalton

(above) James Doyle, a Music teacher at Roosevelt Intermediate School in Westfield.

Posted in Westfield Monthly