New Jersey Department of Education

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Contact: Richard Vespucci
For Release: May 2, 2001

Nine Principals Selected for State Honors in New Program

Commissioner of Education Vito A. Gagliardi, Sr. today introduced to the State Board of Education nine public school principals selected in a program designed to recognize exemplary school leadership. The principals were the first chosen in the New Jersey Principal of the Year Program: Rewarding Visionary Leadership.

"Today, we are announcing the results of our first talent search for school leaders," Commissioner Gagliardi said. "Each of these principals have demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities and the ability to create schools that have safe and successful learning environments for their students.

"During the next year, we will be looking to these principals to improve both the quality and quantity of principal candidates. They will serve the education community, for example, as adjunct instructors, distinguished lecturers, advisors, researchers or sponsors of state of the art practices," Dr. Gagliardi continued. "I am pleased to acknowledge and thank them for the current work they are doing as strong administrative leaders. I also want to thank them for the work they will do to promote and enhance school leadership beyond each of their schools."

The New Jersey Principal of the Year Program: Rewarding Visionary Leadership is a partnership of the Department of Education with the New Jersey Principal and Supervisors Association, the Business Coalition for Educational Excellence, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and the higher education community. The nine recipients represent all three levels of education: elementary middle and secondary in the northern, central and southern regions of the state.

Each principal selected will receive two awards: a $10,000 stipend from Goals 2000 federal education funds and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation that may be applied to school-based improvements and professional development opportunities; and a $1,000 unrestricted grant from the Business Coalition for Educational Excellence.

In return for accepting the honor and stipends, the principals will assume responsibility for a special service of their choosing during their term of office. For example, they may decide to serve as adjunct professors or distinguished lecturers as colleges or universities, advise the Department of Education on educational policy issues, conduct research at the local or state level or sponsor an open-house at the principal’s school where visitors learn about innovative school practices.

In addition, the nine principals announced today will participate in a convocation scheduled for the summer of 2001. The convocation will give them a chance to interact with national experts in the field of education, as well as a forum to discuss ways in which they can assist their peers in other school districts.

A list and description of the nine principals is attached.