For most of us, our earliest experiences with education and learning begin at home with our parents. Before what seems like a lifetime of learning in classrooms, there are the first lessons in our livingrooms.  Our moms and dads are our at-home teachers and for the kids of educators, teachers are our moms and dads.  I was a teacher's world was always all about learning and so I have this interest, understanding and appreciation for them...teachers, I mean...and my mom....same thing.

Adele Rogers retired in 2000 after teaching for 5 decades and in the same classroom and school for a quarter of a century.  In 2011 she lost her educational mentor and best friend, her husband.  He too was a teacher, and a principal and professor.  It was announced shortly after that she would be honored by her town for her years of service to the children, for a lifetime of lessons.  “I only have one regret,” she said upon hearing the news, “that he couldn't be here to see this, to see a teacher honored in this way.”

We followed Mrs. Rogers back to her old school to visit after being away from her home away from home for a decade.  And just like a teacher, she brought a child, her granddaughter to tell her the offer one more series of lessons.

We also visited with educators in other school districts.  In Toms River, we spent some time with Michelle Britton’s kindergarten class at the Walnut Street School.  In Weehawken we learned much from Principal/Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Peter J. Olivieri.  And in Stafford Timothy Rogers invited us in to meet with his poetic fifth graders. 

Our final segment, “Mr. Rogers,” details the life and career of the man and educator our episode is dedicated to, Charles David Rogers.

Driving Jersey: The Kindergarten

Walnut Street School, Toms River, NJ

Driving Jersey: High School

Weehawken High School, Weehawken, NJ

Driving Jersey: The Fifth Grade

Stafford Intermediate School, Manahawkin, NJ

Driving Jersey: Mr. Rogers

Special thanks to all the educators who made this work and all of our lives possible.  Remember to support your local public school as if the future depends on it. 

Music for Driving Jersey: Education was provided by John Francis and Alicia Testa.