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Devils recognize Bayonne technology teacher

by Gordy Stillman / New Jersey Devils
Dr. Walter F. Robinson School technology teacher Melissa Karl rides the Lawns by Yorkshire Zamboni during the second intermission of the New Jersey Devils' 4-2 win on January 19. Karl was recognized as the team's Teacher of the Month for December 2015. Photo by Patrick Dodson

The New Jersey Devils honored Melissa Karl, a technology teacher at Dr. Walter F. Robinson School as the team’s Teacher of the Month for December as the Devils dueled the Calgary Flames on January 19. Karl, a resident of Morristown, uses the Hockey Scholar course developed by Everfi to teach Science, Technology, Engineering and Math skills in her classes.

Karl was inspired by her aunt, who she said was a teacher and always spoke highly of the field. As a college student at then-Saint Peter’s College in Jersey City, Karl said she worked as a substitute teacher. “I really liked working with the kids and homed in on what grade levels I liked, and which ones I didn’t like,” she said of the experience.

“Early in my career, I was lucky enough to be placed within a team of teachers who were more than helpful in sharing their knowledge and love for teaching,” Karl said when she learned she was being honored. Karl began her career teaching third, fourth and sixth grade at the Philip G. Vroom School in Bayonne, most recently covering sixth grade math and science. After 14 years at Vroom, Karl moved to Robinson before the current school year, where she teaches technology to kindergarten through eighth grade.

As a technology teacher, Karl uses the Hockey Scholar program as a supplement to the curriculum. “I basically have assigned [students] modules to complete, and they have a certain amount of time to complete them.” Specific units such as “Uncover the Ice” and “Paint the Ice” stood out among class favorites, Karl said. In the Paint the Ice unit, which is geometry-based, students had to plot points, create circles and properly place them on graphs.

“I decided to use Hockey Scholar because I wanted to get into the STEM part of my curriculum with my seventh and eighth graders,” Karl said, adding that the program fit into the technology standards for her class. Karl explained that the curriculum used applied to lessons on design processes and systems.

Before being recognized at Prudential Center, Karl was recognized in a schoolwide announcement at Robinson. “It feels really good to be honored in that way,” Karl said of the experience, receiving congratulations from teachers and students. “The kids were really excited to know that they were part of this and it was because of what they did that the school and I were receiving an award.”

The Devils will recognize a New Jersey teacher on a monthly basis through the end of the 2015-16 season. For more information on the Hockey Scholar program, please visit Hockey Scholar and Future Goals, along with the team’s “Stick With It” reading incentive system, encompass the Devils’ Achievement in Academics initiative, which supports thousands of New Jersey students through hockey each year.

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