Bound Brook High School Special Education Teacher Chosen for the 2023 New Jersey Exemplary Educator Program

Janelle Filiatreault, a Bound Brook High School special education teacher and leader of the Students & Teachers Achieving Results (STAR) Program, was chosen as a 2023 New Jersey Exemplary Educator. The recognition program identifies outstanding educators who exhibit strong knowledge and skills, an inspiring presence, and a positive impact on students, colleagues, and the school community.

“Ms. Filiatreault is one of only 123 educators in the entire state of New Jersey who earned this recognition,” said Dr. Alvin L. Freeman, the superintendent of Bound Brook School District. “On behalf of the students and staff of the Bound Brook School District, we are proud of her accomplishments and contributions to Bound Brook High School.”

BBHS Principal Ed Smith nominated Filiatreault for the recognition program.

“Ms. Filiatreault’s mannerisms and professionalism both in and out of the classroom is among the elite,” Smith said. “Ms. Filiatreault exemplifies qualities that are valued in an educator and a professional: integrity, genuine commitment, hard work, and a firm belief in life-long learning. It is for these reasons, among countless others, that she was nominated and selected.”

Filiatreault was surprised last month when Principal Smith came into her classroom to share that she had been chosen for the Exemplary Educator award.

“It was a total surprise,” she said. “It is really nice for others to recognize what you are trying to achieve. The STAR Program is special to me, and I’m glad that the work being devoted to that program is recognized.”

Filiatreault specializes in special education instruction and oversees the education of BBHS students with a wide array of disabilities. Additionally, she designs and delivers lessons geared toward the individual needs and capabilities of the students under her supervision.

While having played an integral part in creating the STAR Program her role as the program leader implements a functional approach to the core academic classes as well as social skills, motor skills, self help, vocational skills and community-based instruction. Essentially, the initiative is intended for students enrolled in the functional life skills program to transfer these skills into their adult lives following high school graduation.

Ms. Filiatreault also provides opportunities for STAR students to gain experiences outside the classroom to more fully explore career interests post-graduation. For example, she established the “Brook Café”, in which students set-up and run a coffee business on Fridays at the high school. Run like a small business, the students do everything from taking orders to delivering the coffee to staff members.

Furthermore, Filiatreault worked with DeAnna Scott, the school psychologist, to start a Personal Wellness with Friends program, in which students with socialization and adaptive needs are paired with neuro-typical students to promote skill building during Physical Education class.

Filiatreault has taught at Bound Brook School District for 21 years. She graduated from The College of New Jersey with a Bachelor of Science in Special Education in 2001.