To honor individuals who are making a difference in students’ lives by being a substitute teacher, and in celebration of National Substitute Teacher Appreciation Week in May, Swing Education is launching the Substitute Teacher Hall of Fame. 

The inaugural class includes three educators who were selected for their outstanding contributions to the students, teachers, and schools they serve: Valerie Aduba, Michael Packard, and Ralph Starace.

2020 Hall of Fame

Introducing the 2019 Substitute Teacher Hall of Fame Class


Valerie Aduba

Valerie is a substitute teacher at multiple schools in Sacramento, CA

Nominations for Aduba highlighted her professionalism, reliability, and overall positive attitude the classroom.

“She has been the most reliable substitute I have had in my five years of teaching,” said Corryn Hamakawa, a teacher at Hazel Mahone College Prep.

“She holds students accountable for their behavior, as well as follows through and builds relationships with parents.”

“Ms. V has been the most consistent sub, which is important when building a relationship with students,” added Asia Mapp, a teacher at Ephraim Williams College Prep.


Michael Packard

Michael is a substitute teacher at The Renaissance Academy in Phoenixville, PA

Packard, who has taught for a decade-plus, is “an outstanding role model for our students,” said teacher Melissa Weidman, one of Packard’s colleagues at The Renaissance Academy. “He works so well with my students in the emotional support classroom, and they like him so much they ask for him to sub for the class even when I do not have to be out.”

Packard also supports students at The Renaissance Academy by coaching and by leading after-school activities like game and STEM clubs.

“We are lucky to have him in our building,” Weidman said.


Ralph Starace

Ralph is a substitute teacher at Sussex County Technical School in Sparta, NJ

Starace, who has been substitute teaching for 23 years, is “a great example of how being a substitute teacher can be vitally important to both the substitute and the school community,” said Rich Rennie from the Sussex County Board Office.

In addition to his time in the classroom, Starace has assisted with the school’s SkillsUSA workforce program and has coached soccer, basketball, baseball, wrestling, and tennis during his tenure.

Rennie added, “During his time as a substitute, Ralph has become part of the fabric of the school, and has positively impacted the lives of thousands of students.”

About Swing Education

Founded in 2015, Swing Education addresses the nationwide substitute teacher shortage by helping schools connect with qualified educators via an easy-to-use, web-based marketplace. The company’s diverse pool of substitute teachers consists of both veteran educators and those who are entering into the education community through Swing Education. To date, the company has helped more than 1,500 school partners fill 100,000+ teacher absences. To learn more about Swing Education, visit our website.