2012 Featured Future Educators

May 2012 Feature Future Educator:  Tiffany Rodriguez

Tiffany Rodriguez is a junior at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South and an aspiring teacher. She is an outstanding student and leader who possess a keen desire to answer the call to become a teacher. Tiffany is an active member in the school community by being in the Hispanic Club, Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross Club, and Pirate Players. She is a member of the National Honor Society and recently received notification of acceptance into the International FEA Honor Society. Tiffany has brought excitement to our chapter because of the amount of energy and new ideas she has. Tiffany is the Vice President of our FEA chapter; she will be the president of our chapter in her senior year, and is running for Central Jersey Representative — a NJFEA State Officer post.  For our chapter, Tiffany helped in organizing two fundraisers — a Pie Walk and Cookie Walk — for the organization, Children of Promise. She was also involved in activities related to Take Your Child to Work Day and Teachers Appreciation week at High School South.  Tiffany has a passion for becoming a teacher for second grade children who are deaf or hard of hearing. She has strong desire to set the Pirate Future Educators Association on a course of expansion and greater purpose. With Tiffany’s drive and love for teaching, the FEA is very lucky to have her on board.


April 2012 Featured Future Educator:  Hannah Fralinger

Hannah Fralinger is a senior at Cumberland Regional High School.  She has been an active member in her school’s NJFEA chapter for two years and now serves as an officer.  During this time, she has participated in several community services such as the Hug a Bear Foundation, which provides a fluffy friend for children in rough situations, as well as in road cleanups, diabetes walks, soup kitchens, and as a SPCA volunteer.  Hannah also is an active member of her school’s Key Club where she is a helpful liaison between the two clubs when planning group service activities.  Hannah recently won a prestigious scholarship given by the Soroptimist International.  She plans to spend this scholarship money at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, where she will study education.  Aside from Hannah’s love for teaching, she excels at mathematics.  She hopes to unite these passions in order to one day become a math teacher.  If her past successes have any bearing on what she will become in the future, she will be nothing but exceptional.  Hannah lives her life by the motto, “Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect.  It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.”  Hannah hope that she can someday help students decide to “be happy.”  She credits her desire to teach to all of her former and present teachers who have taught her that being the best you can be requires hard work, but makes it possible to achieve anything you put your mind to.


March 2012 Featured Future Educator:  Alexandra Lavelle

Alexandra Lavelle is a senior at Middletown High School South in Middletown, New Jersey.  Inspired by her previous math teacher, Alexandra is dedicated to become a high school mathematics teacher.  She puts into practice a commitment to service and education by volunteering in her local church teaching CCD classes, and by preparing food for the homeless in Red Bank, New Jersey. Alexandra is also a referee for soccer and participates in math competitions.

Alexandra is an exceptional leader and future educator.  She has mentored students in a testing and consulting business. Using her math skills and intelligence, Alexandra offers her time tutoring students for the SAT and ACT. Alexandra had a key role in the college level Tomorrow’s Teachers course by being elected to develop a study packet for struggling freshman who needed to improve time management, organization, and study skills.  She also helped to organize a fundraiser, “Dancing with the Teachers,” to raise money for the Tomorrow’s Teachers course. Alexandra is a great role model for those committed to service and to teaching.



February 2012 Featured Future Educators:  Eddy Iturbide and Christian Merino

In today’s generation, many children are growing up in single parent homes. Often, the mother is the custodial caretaker. Therefore, many children are left without a father figure in their lives. However, merely because a child is missing his/her father does not mean that there is no hope for a positive male influence to be there throughout his/her development.

Teaching was once a predominantly female profession, but the number of males entering the field of education has dramatically increased. After parents, teachers are the most significant figures in the lives of young people. An positive role model in a male educator could help to make up for an absent father.

Two seniors at Memorial High school, Eddy Iturbide and Christian Merino, are the epitome of individuals with the desire to make a difference. Eddy aspires to become an elementary school math teacher. For as long as Eddy can remember, he has dreamed of a career as a teacher. He has also always had a passion for mathematics and, since he was in the seventh grade, Eddy has wanted to do nothing but assist those who needed academic help. Eddy stated that joining the FEA chapter in his high school one of the very best decisions he has ever made.

Unlike Eddy, Christian was never a fan of school. He never did well with English, math, social studies, or science. However, he has always had a passion for sports and has always been an athlete. Being active is simply what this young man lives for. Christian says that if his father had not persuaded him to join the town’s recreational soccer team, a huge part of who he is would have been missing. He wants to share his passion for physical activity with others. This young individual will be entering college next year as a physical education major.

Teaching is not a career choice, it is a calling. It is through good educators that miracles are born.


January 2012 Featured Future Educator:  Matthew McGaffney

Matthew McGaffney is a senior at Lower Cape May Regional High School. McGaffney is a well-rounded student being active in many clubs and sports. His favorite things to do are play tennis, run, and work with computers and graphic designing. Being such a renaissance man, a person would think it would be hard for him to decide what he would want to do in the future. Over this summer, however, Matt McGaffney decided to become a teacher.

Loving tennis so much, he started working at a children’s tennis clinic. Seeing how well he worked with the children he realized that he had a gift that many people do not possess, the ability to teach. His idea was reinforced when thinking it over when he looked back on his experiences with teachers. He noticed that there were not many male teachers in grade schools. He had many male teachers as a student and liked the variety. With his decision to become a teacher he took the Future Educators course at his high school.

In the future McGaffney sees himself graduating from Salisbury College and getting a full-time position as a fifth or sixth grade teacher. With his love for technology, he hopes to incorporate more of it into his teaching. McGaffney is a determined, hardworking student and will make an excellent teacher one day.


December 2011 Featured Future Educator:  Nicole Tunnard

Nikki is a junior at Lawrence High School who current serves at NJFEA’s Central Regional Representative and member of her high school’s NJFEA chapter. She was inspired become a teacher by her mother who cares deeply about her students and motivates them to be their best. Nikki plans to pursue teacher preparation in college with the goal of teaching at the elementary level.

As an aspiring teacher, Nikki has coached a soccer team for nine year old girls, been involved in Operation Smile, Special Olympics, and assisted in her mother’s first grade classroom. She will play an important leadership role on NJFEA’s “Adopt a School” service project, and is very proud to be part of Lawrence High School’s NJFEA chapter under the direction of adviser Mrs. Georgiana Aiken.



November 2011 Featured Future Educator: Kendall McCarthy

Kendall McCarthy, an asset to Mahwah High School’s Future Educators Association shares with us her inspirations on becoming a teacher. She aspires to become one of those teachers who makes lasting impressions and guides her students in a positive direction. She joined Mahwah High School’s Future Teachers Club her sophomore year in order to learn more about education as a career in hopes of one day becoming an elementary school teacher. Being one of the many seniors in the club, Kendall is always participating having an enthusiastic tone and being a positive role model. She views teachers very highly and stated“Teachers are really underappreciated and they shouldn’t because the profession is so respectable.” She was the club’s secretary this past year and highly nominated as Mahwah High School FEA president. Read more about Kendall.




October 2011 Featured Future Educator: Atneataies McLean

Atneataies McLean, one of our own thriving New Jersey Future Educator Association (NJFEA) members, aspires to become one of the hundreds of future teachers who will guide the generations to come. Atneataies joined the association when she was in 7th grade and has been an active member for four years strong; she is now continuing her fifth year as a junior at University High School in Newark, New Jersey. Of those four years, Atneataies has been a dedicated secretary for University’s NJFEA chapter for three, and now she is aiming for a higher office in the association. Read more about Atneataies here.