CCREA Scholarship News

The CCREA Philanthropic Committee is thrilled to announce the recipients of our Scholarships for the 2022 graduating class of Cumberland County Public High Schools. The committee received six applications from three of the high schools for the $750 awards provided to students wishing to pursue a career in education. 

Sydney Taylor, a graduate of CCTEC will be attending Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, studying Early Childhood (K-4) Education. She writes “The simple answer as to why I want to be a teacher is be- cause I love working with kids. … Younger kids are so pure and genuine about life with the magic that anything is possible, and I want to help keep that spirit alive so when these kids grow up they can be prepared to handle all of life’s challenges. … Education is one of the most important parts of a society and our children deserve to have passionate teachers who can educate them and be there to support them.

“ She credits Downe Township educator Mr. Henault with impacting her life. Sydney commented “Experiencing his history and civics class changed the way I viewed learning and was truly the most meaningful educational experience I ever had and will never forget.” 

Cumberland Regional High School’s recipient is Elizabeth Pearce who will be a Music Education major at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. Elizabeth’s statement on why she chose a career in education includes, “When I was deciding on a career path, I thought about the role models in my life. I instantly thought of my music instructors and my drama teacher who have helped me discover my talent and have been my biggest inspiration in helping me develop as a happy productive individual. …

Music is perhaps one of the most important arts electives a student can take. It teaches math, problem-solving skills, teamwork, and reasoning skills. I want to prepare students for their future. … Inspiring someone to discover their talents and self-worth is the rewarding career I want to work toward.” Elizabeth credits her opportunity to serve as a Senior Mentor and volunteer at two summer drama camps as providing her with a life-changing realization that pursuing music and drama education is her goal. 

The passion for teaching “The Arts” continues with Millville High School’s awardee, Mary Greco, an aspiring Art Education major planning to attend Frost- burg State University, Maryland. She credits her art teacher, Mr. Daniels, with creating a safe environment in his classroom where she could put her emotions and ideas into her pieces of art. “As I worked, I listened to Mr. Daniels talk about his lifestyle as an art teacher and the lifestyle of many artists he knows. I soon learned that, contrary to popular belief, there are many careers in art. With lots of questions and conversations, my art teacher convinced my parents that I had the talent to maintain a career in art.

The impact one educator had on my life and many other students’ lives is what made me want to be an art teacher.” Mary also worked at the pre-school wrap program and wrote “I have ended up falling in love with being around these students and improving their day in any way I can.” 

Many thanks to the generous donations of the CCREA members who enable the providing of these scholarships and to the Scholarship Committee members Jean Curnow, Ellen Greco, and the CCREA officers. 


 Past Posts

Scholarship Deadline Approaching – April 2022

 Do you know any Cumberland County High School Seniors interested in a career in Education? If so, encourage them to visit their Guidance Office to complete an application for our CCREA Scholarship. The deadline for submission is April 12, 2022. Applications are also available on the CCREA website and from the Scholarship Chair at

Scholarship Committee Volunteers

Our CCREA Scholarship Committee reviews the applications of the students wishing to be considered for our scholarship assisting them in pursuing a career in Education. Should you be interested in serv- ing on this committee, please contact the Chair, Anita Schwartz at this email:

 Past Posts

The CCREA Scholarship established in 1996, is funded through donations and the various trips sponsored by the CCREA. This philanthropic outreach of our county retired educators awards a $750 scholarship each year to a graduating senior, planning on pursuing a career in education, from each of the five-county public high schools. Applications are available in the high school Guidance Offices, on our CCREA website, or by contacting me. The application due date is April 12, 2022. If you know a student interested in a career in education (which is not limited to teaching) please advise them to check with their school’s Guidance Department for the application. These scholarships are open to all students – there is no requirement that the student has a parent, guardian or any other relative affiliated with the NJEA/NJREA.

NJREA also offers numerous scholarship opportunities. Applications for the NJREA Scholarships are available on the NJEA/ NJREA website. The criteria for the scholarships are listed on the NJREA website. These scholarships have an application due date of March 1, 2022.

The CCREA Scholarship Committee selects the student from each high school to be awarded the scholarship. Anyone interested in serving on the committee should contact me, Anita Schwartz. Any questions may be directed to me at

Anita Schwartz 

Selecting a career choice in Education after enduring the disruption of their Junior and Senior years of high school says a lot about this year’s four CCREA scholarship awardees. Our scholarship recipients are:

Nathan Terry, Millville Senior High School, will continue his studies in History at Gettysburg College. He commented, “… I also believe an educator can be anyone who imparts knowledge and wisdom to others. … It is my love of history that has determined my future career choice.” Nathan’s concern for the homeless caused him to create a service project called “Warm Hands, Warm Heads, Warm Hearts” which donated over 300 items of clothing to assist the M25 Initiative with gloves and hats for distribution.

Another Millville Senior High School recipient is Megan Hallenbeck. Her plans are to attend Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, majoring in Special Education and Sociology. The daughter of two educators, Megan wrote, “It was the fall of my senior year when I was taking two courses, AP Psychology and Child Development, that made me believe my career choice was really the right one for me.” Megan has many years dedicated to community service, participated in sports, is in the school’s Leaders Club, and is an Academic Award winner.

Cumberland Regional High School’s Hazel Gilligan will attend the University of Wyoming this fall. Hazel’s course of study will be Agriculture Education with a minor in Special Education. She said, “Like most, I want to become an educator to change lives.” Hazel, by chance, sat down with a child who had been non-verbal for the year. While working with this student on the difference between capital and lower case letters, the child began to speak and describe why he liked certain letters.

Joy Asselta, Cumberland County Technical Education Center’s recipient will be going north to attend the University of Vermont. She will be following in her mother and grandmother’s footsteps by becoming an educator, focusing on Secondary Education. She writes “I am extremely passionate about making a difference in the lives of students, and through the field of education, I believe that I can positively impact the lives of many students. …powerful educators have an impact that extends far beyond the classroom walls.”

Thank you to those CCREA members who support and donate to the Philanthropic/Scholarship fund which enables us to award this financial assistance to deserving students. My thanks go to Jean Curnow and Ellen Greco for serving on the Committee.

CCREA Scholarship for Those Seeking a Degree in Education 

Please briefly answer the following question on a separate page.

Describe why you want to become an educator.

Please write a one page essay using one of the following topics:

  1. Describe the High School activity or course that had the most profound effect on you and why.
  2. Describe your most meaningful achievements and how they relate to your field of study and future goals.
  3. How has your education contributed to who you are today?
  4. Describe you most meaningful education experience and how it has impacted your life?
  5. What is your vision of the future of education and how will you implement your vision?

Please attach a Letter of Recommendation from an NJEA member who is not a family member addressing this question:

What attributes does this applicant possess that would make him/her a good educator?