Michelle Petrow Named Governor’s Teacher of the Year and Mary Markowski Named Educational Services Professional of the Year For Brookside Place School 2023 – 2024

Michelle Petrow has been named the Governor’s Teacher of the Year for Brookside Place School (BPS) and Mary Markowski has been named the Educational Services Professional of the Year for BPS as part of the 2023-2024 Governor’s Teacher/Educational Services Professional Recognition Program.

“I feel humbled and honored to have been selected when I work in a building of truly outstanding educators,” said Ms. Petrow.

Ms. Petrow has been teaching for 20 years, the last seven of those as a second-grade teacher. “I love spending my day with children, each and every day is a new adventure,” added Ms. Petrow, who started her career at BPS teaching second grade as a maternity leave replacement. She then was hired full-time to teach kindergarten, going on to teach fourth grade for five years before switching back to second grade.

Ms. Petrow earned her undergraduate degree from Wagner College and holds a special education degree.

“The best part of teaching is seeing a child’s face light up when they achieve something that they have been struggling with,” said Ms. Petrow.

She recently celebrated her 40th wedding anniversary and has three children, and two grandchildren Jordan and Genevieve, both born in 2023.

Mary Markowski has been named the Educational Services Professional of the Year for BPS.

“I love working in kindergarten because at this young age, they are so eager to learn and you can see the difference from when they come in September and leave in June,” said Ms. Markowski.

She has 23 years serving the students of BPS. Ms. Markowski started working in the school district as a way to balance career and home life. “As my children got older, I thought working in a school would be perfect so I could be off at the same time as them. I worked part-time so I never missed anything they were involved in at their school,” said Ms. Markowski, who is the proud mom of Matt and Chris, both grown, as well as her dog Brodie and cat Teddy.


The Governor’s Educator of the Year program recognizes teachers and educational support staff who are exemplary professionals in their field. Recipients are nominated by their school communities.

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