Mt. Bethel Elementary Presents Annual Arleen Taffel Award

Students give a thumbs up

The Arleen Taffel Award is presented each year to a staff member at Mt. Bethel Elementary School who has shown significant support of the school’s Foundation and the goal to enrich, empower, and excel in the daily education of Mt. Bethel students. 

This award is named for Arleen Taffel, who taught for 40 years, with 30 of those years at Mt Bethel Elementary. Ms. Taffel inspired students, parents, fellow teachers, and administrators with her hands-on approach to teaching. As a kindergarten teacher, she kept learning fun with silly songs, dances, and props. 

Just as Ms. Taffel inspired her students, they also inspired her. Ms. Taffel survived ovarian cancer for 11 years before succumbing to the disease in 2010. During her battle with cancer, she told then Principal Joan Johnson that “the children and the job were helping to keep her alive.” 

The Mt Bethel Foundation gives the Arleen Taffel Award annually in her memory.

This year the Foundation Board of Trustees recognized Mt. Bethel’s Julia Schoeb as the Arleen Award recipient. Ms. Schoeb has taught third, fourth, and fifth graders for 14 years and is certified in general education, special education, and gifted education. The current fourth-grade teacher has taken a special interest in character education. After using the Foundation-funded character education program “The Voyage” in her classroom for two years, Ms. Schoeb decided to develop a character education program called Buccaneer’s Best just for Mt. Bethel! She saw what worked and what could be improved and gave her time, energy, and expertise to customize a character education program tailored to Mt. Bethel students.

According to the Foundation, Ms. Schoeb’s work has impacted the entire school community.