TRENTON, N.J. — An American Sign Language teacher at a Cape May County high school has been named New Jersey’s Teacher of the Year.

Amy Andersen beat out six other finalists to earn the honor, which was announced at Wednesday’s state Board of Education meeting. She will receive a six-month paid sabbatical and will participate in state and national activities, including an opportunity to meet the president.

A Cape May County native, Anderson taught in Boston for nine years before she returned to New Jersey in 2004.

She then began the ASL program at Ocean City High School with 42 students and it has since grown to 130 under her tutelage. The program teaches sign language to students who can hear.