September 30, 2020

Joseph S. Pizzo, who is also a seventh grade teacher in Chester, will be recognized next month by the Association for Middle Level Education.

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ, Sept. 30, 2020—Centenary University Adjunct Professor of Communications Joseph S. Pizzo has been named the 2020 National Educator of the Year by the Association for Middle Level Education, an organization comprised of over 54,000 teachers, principals, counselors, and other education professionals. The honor recognizes outstanding middle school educators who make a significant impact on the lives of adolescents through leadership, vision, and advocacy. The award will be presented at the 47thannual Conference for Middle Level Education (#AMLE20), which will be held virtually from Oct. 23-25.

A resident of Bound Brook, Pizzo has served as an adjunct faculty member at Centenary for more than 28 years at the undergraduate level in the English, education, and business departments. He has also taught in the Business Department at the graduate level. Pizzo holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the College of New Jersey. In addition to his role at Centenary, he teaches integrated language arts at Black River Middle School in Chester, where he is also co-director of drama. Calling the award “a great honor,” Pizzo recently noted, “Teaching at the middle level takes a great deal of energy, patience, integrity, and flexibility, but the rewards are tremendous. We teachers make a great difference in the lives of our students, and our students make a great difference in our lives as well.”

Pizzo promotes student engagement through activities that honor diverse cultures and creativity, while instilling a sense of pride and accomplishment in his students. He frequently shares his students’ work with local newspapers and offers his expertise to fellow educators through local, regional, and national workshops and professional organizations.

“This national recognition speaks to the high caliber of professors at Centenary University,” said Amy D’Olivo, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs. “It’s exciting to see a member of our faculty honored with such a prestigious award. Joe is an excellent instructor, who is truly dedicated to seeing all of his students succeed.”


Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix provides an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world. The University’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township. The Centenary University School of Professional Studies offers degree programs in Parsippany, as well as online and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.

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