Ridgefield Avenue School Principal Awarded Educator of the Year

NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders (NJCTS) has awarded the 2024 Educator of the Year to Dr. Michael Donovan, Principal of Ridgefield Avenue School in Glen Ridge.

Since 2004, this award has been designated for educators in New Jersey who have made a significant difference in the life of a child, or children, with Tourette Syndrome (TS). Dr. Donovan was nominated by NJCTS Education Outreach Coordinator, Claudia Lijo, and the Streiff family of Glen Ridge for his support of Tourette Syndrome teacher and student education within his school.

“NJCTS has been to Ridgefield Avenue School several times for teacher in-services and youth advocate presentations,” said Lijo. “Dr. Donovan’s relentless efforts to deepen understanding of his students’ needs set an example for other leaders in education to follow.”

Through education outreach programs like in-service presentations to teachers, NJCTS provides education professionals throughout the state with strategies and techniques for working with children with TS in the classroom, as well as ways to promote a more positive, inclusive, and successful classroom environment for all students. The organization will also send in a youth advocate, a teen with TS, to speak with the student body about the disorder.

“We are so grateful to have you as Sam’s principal,” said the Streiff family said in a statement to Dr. Donovan. “Your advocacy and friendship has fundamentally changed the trajectory of Sam’s life, and given us all new hope. Thank you for all you do every single day.”

To learn more about the NJCTS Education Outreach program, visit www.njcts.org or call 908.575.7350.