NJPSA/FEA Board of Directors
2017-18 NJPSA Board of Directors
Ralph Aiello - President
Assistant Principal, Cumberland Regional High School, Seabrook
Ralph Aiello is currently Principal of Cumberland Regional HS in Cumberland County. He also served as an assistant principal in the Cumberland Regional HS District for 8 years. Before that he served for one year as a Supervisor of Humanities in the Pennsville School District. Before becoming an administrator he taught for 7 years in the Pennsville School District. He taught both Language Arts and History. He currently lives in Gloucester County with his two sons, Aiden and Ethan.
Heather Moran - President-Elect
Principal, Logan Middle School, Logan Township
Heather's career began as a fifth and sixth grade classroom teacher in a district with two teachers per grade level before moving to a larger middle school setting to teach mathematics. In 2004, she moved to administration, and held two positions in a K – 8 district serving 8000 students in both school-based and central administration roles over the next 7 years. Currently, she is starting her fifth year as principal of Logan Middle School in Logan Township in South Jersey. In addition to this work, she has worked on the development and presentation teams for the New Jersey Leadership Academy and began a term as NJPSA’s representative to the State Board of Examiners in October 2015.
Karen Bingert - Vice President
Principal, Hillsborough High School
Karen Bingert has been the principal of Hillsborough High School in Somerset County since 2006. She began her career in education in 1992 as an English teacher at Asbury Park High School, next teaching middle and high school English in the Southern Regional School District. She joined the Hillsborough Township School District in 1999 as a vice principal at the high school before moving into her current position. A longstanding Council Member at NJPSA, Ms. Bingert is an active member of the Elementary/Middle/Secondary and Nominations committees. She co-chaired the NJPSA/NJASA Joint Committee on Educator Effectiveness and Graduation Requirements/Assessment. In the past she has served as the president of the Somerset County High School Principals Association and currently acts as the association's liaison to NJPSA, and she is the Vice President of the Hillsborough Principals and Supervisors Association. Ms. Bingert earned her BA in English/Secondary Education from Trenton State College and her MA in Administration, Supervision, and Curriculum Planning from Georgian Court University.
Paul Christopher, Ed.D. - Recording Secretary
Principal, Monmouth County VSD-Class Academy, Monmouth Co. Vo-Tech
Term: 2017 - 2020
Paul Christopher has served as Principal of Monmouth County Vocational School District since 1988, having previously served as Principal of Brielle Elementary School. He earned a bachelor of science from the University of Scranton, a master’s in education from Monmouth University, and an Ed.D. in Leadership/Administration from Nova Southeastern University. He was the recipient of the MET Life/NJPSA/NASSP Principal of Year, the Golden Lamp Award for Excellence in Educational Leadership, and the Visionary Leadership Award from NJPSA. He is President of Monmouth/Ocean County Secondary Principals Association and serves as a member of the West Long Branch Boro Schools Board of Education.
Patrick McCabe - Treasurer
Principal, South Amboy Middle/High School
Term: 2017 - 2020
Patrick McCabe has served as Principal of South Amboy Middle/High School - a sixth grade through 12th grade school - since 2005. Prior to that he was a principal of a Middle school in Colts Neck, NJ. Before becoming an administrator, Patrick served as a school psychologist and taught English at Marist High School. He earned a Bachelor of Science from Saint Peter's University, a Masters in Counseling from Seton Hall University, a Masters in Administration from New Jersey City University and a Masters and a Doctorate in School Psychology from Rutgers University. Patrick spent four years as a Trustee on the Bayonne Board of Education, has served as a Leaders to Leaders mentor since 2013 and is presently the President of the Middlesex County Secondary Principals Association.
Nicole Moore - Immediate Past President
Principal, Indian Mills School, Shamong
Nicole Moore has been an accomplished New Jersey educator for nearly 25 years and has spent the last 16 years as Principal of Indian Mills School in Shamong, New Jersey. She previously served as the Assistant Principal of Blackwood Elementary School in the Gloucester Township School district where she was responsible for student discipline, teacher evaluation, business operations and community relations. Nicole began her work as an educator in New Jersey in the Mt. Laurel Schools where she taught first and second grades. Her first administrative position was with the Princeton Regional School District where she served as the manager and coordinator of Princeton Young Achievers, a collaborative neighborhood learning center program.
NJPSA Board Members
Principal, Washington School, Lodi
Term: 2016 - 2019
Emil Carafa is the principal of Washington School in Lodi and has been actively involved in a variety of educational committees on the local, county, state, and national level. He has held the office of President on the county and state levels, representing principals, directors and supervisors on all levels. He has previously served as President of the Board of Directors of NJPSA and has served on the nominating committee for the National Association of Elementary School Principals. He is presently serving as a member Educator Leaders’ Cadre for the State of New Jersey, representing administrators at PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) on the national level. Emil, working along with the Educator Leaders’ Cadre from New Jersey, is committed to working with all educators to better understand Standards and PARCC. Emil is also on the Advisory Committee on Teaching & Learning for Center Point Education Solutions and serves as a member of the steering committee, cohort developer and presenter for the New Jersey Leadership Academy and was named NJPSA Visionary Leader of the Year, Elementary Level Principal, in 2015.
Kimberly Clark, Ed.D.
Assistant Principal, Pinelands Regional Jr. High School
Term: 2016 - 2019
Kimberly Lynn Clark, Ed.D. is a practitioner-researcher, who currently works at Pinelands Regional, a 7-12 public school district in New Jersey, as an assistant principal. In addition to her building-level responsibilities, she is the district supervisor of several departments including English-as-a-second-language, special education, and gifted and talented education. As a researcher, Dr. Clark focuses on the topics of educational leadership, leadership development, feminist theory, gender performance, and nontraditional administrative preparation.
John Farinella, Jr., J.D. - NASSP State Coordinator
Principal, Rahway High School
Term: 2016 - 2019
John Farinella has worked in public education for 23 years in the New Jersey public schools, serving as a teacher of mathematics, vice principal, and high school principal. Currently, Mr. Farinella serves as the Rahway High Principal. Mr. Farinella is also a member of the New Jersey Bar, the New York Bar, and the United States District Court of New Jersey Bar. Mr. Farinella has served as a Council member, Legislative Committee member, Constitution Review Committee member and Board of Directors member for the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA). Last spring, Mr. Farinella received the 2016 Richard J. Nichols, Ed.D. Award from Kean University for his support of the professional development of student teachers placed at Rahway High School. In 2017, Mr. Farinella was named by the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association as the 2017 Secondary School Visionary Principal of the Year. In his spare time, Mr. Farinella enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. His hobbies include running, biking, fishing, traveling, and music.
Denise P. King, Ed.D.
Principal, B. Bernice Young Elementary School
Term: 2015 - 2018
Dr. Denise P. King is Principal at B. Bernice Young Elementary School in Burlington Township. Dr. King has more than 26 years of educational experience in various diverse K - 12 learning environments through higher education. Her professional experiences include: teacher, professional development facilitator, vice - principal, and principal. Denise currently serves as the president of the Burlington County Principals and Supervisors Association. She earned her B.A. from Rutgers University, M.Ed. from Cheyney University and Doctorate from Nova Southeastern University. She serves as a board member on the Camden and Burlington Counties YMCA Youth Advisory board, Burlington Library Friends, and the Burlington County Institute of Technology foundation. Dr. King serves as a mentor for the NJEXCEL administration leadership program and is a passionate supporter for empowering young adults with challenges for career and college readiness. Dr. King was named NJPSA Visionary Leader of the Year, Elementary Level Principal, in 2016. Denise and her husband have lived in Burlington County for 16 years and are the proud parents of three sons.
Assistant Principal, Julia A. Barnes Elementary School, Jersey City, NJ
Term: 2015 - 2018
Thomas Macagnano has over 21 years experience in the field of education. For the past 15 years he has been an assistant principal with the Jersey City Public Schools. Thomas is also the president of the Administrator and Supervision Association of Jersey City.
Angelina Martino Finnegan - Zone 2 Director
Principal, Lake Hiawatha Parsippany-Troy Hills District
Term: 2016 - 2019
Angelina Martino Finnegan is the principal of Lake Hiawatha Elementary School and previously served as principal of Rockaway Meadows School and Troy Hills School -- all in the Parsippany-Troy Hills School District. She has served on the NJPSA Board since 2006 and was the association's president in 2010-2011. In 2013, she was named the NJPSA Visionary Principal of the Year and NAESP National Distinguished Principal. Angelina earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from Seton Hall University.
Damian Medina, Ed.D.
Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Perth Amboy Public Schools
Term: 2017 - 2020
Dr. Medina currently serves as Director of Curriculum and Instruction at the Perth Amboy School District. Dr. Medina earned his doctoral degree on School Administration and Leadership from Seton Hall University. Dr. Medina also holds an Education Specialist degree on school leadership and a Master of Arts degree on ESL-Bilingual and Bicultural Education from Seton Hall University. Dr. Medina completed his Bachelors’ degree and Master’s degree equivalent on Teaching English and English Literature at Universidad Nacional de Tucuman, Argentina. Dr. Medina is passionate about curriculum and instruction, effective teaching and learning, and ESL-Bilingual Education.
Principal, Nicolaus Copernicus School, Jersey City
Term: 2016 - 2019
Diane Pistilli is the Principal of Nicolaus Copernicus School in Jersey City. She has 40 years of educational experience. Her professional experiences include teacher, guidance counselor, Asst. Principal and Principal. Diane Pistilli served as the Past President of the Administrators Supervisors Association of Jersey City and was on the Executive Board of ASA JC for over 10 years.
Arlene Rogo, Ed.D.
Principal, Neptune Middle School
Term: 2016 - 2019
Dr. Arlene M. Rogo is beginning her 36th year as a New Jersey Educator. She is currently Principal of Neptune Middle School. During her 24 years in Neptune, she also served as principal of Summerfield Elementary School for 16 years and Principal of Midtown Community Elementary School for 6 years. In 2012, MCES, a Platinum LEED School became one of the first Green Ribbon Schools designated by the U.S. Department of Education. Dr. Rogo began her career in Bergen County as a teacher in middle school and high school, and then gained administrative experience as a high school grade administrator, a middle school department chairperson and K-8 curriculum supervisor, and as a K-8 vice principal. Dr. Rogo is also President of the Neptune Township Administrator’s Association and the Monmouth County Elementary/Middle School Administrators Association.
Fidelia Sturdivant - NAESP State Representative
Principal, Wahlstrom Academy School, East Orange
Term 2017 - 2018
Fidelia Sturdivant has served as the principal of the Wahlstrom Early Childhood Academy in East Orange, NJ since 2000. In addition to her service on the NJPSA Board, she has also served as a Zone Director, State Representative, and State Delegate for the National Association for Elementary School Principals. Fidelia is also dedicated to community service and was presented with the 2011 East orange YMCA Minority Achiever Award for her professional accomplishments and her participation with Habitat for Humanity.
Michael Vinella, Ph.D.
Principal, East Brunswick High School
Term: 2017 - 2020
Dr. Michael Vinella has worked in East Brunswick Public Schools for 22 years and is entering his sixth year as EBHS principal. Dr. Vinella holds a B.A. in Economics from Rutgers University, a M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision from Kean University, and a Ph.D. in K-12 Educational Leadership from Walden University. He holds certificates as Teacher of Social Studies, Supervisor, Principal and Chief School Administrator. During his time in East Brunswick he has held positions as Social Studies teacher, Assistant Principal at EBHS, Supervisor of Staff Development/Grants/Testing and Supervisor of Social Studies. Dr. Vinella has also served on several local, county, state and national committees with the most recent being the NASSP Student Leadership Advisory Committee, NJPSA/NJASA Joint Committee on Educator Evaluation and Graduation Requirements, and the NJDOE Principals Practice Pilot.
2017-18 FEA Board of Directors
Executive Director of NJPSA
A lifelong educator, Patricia Wright is currently the Executive Director of the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association. She has held the positions of teacher, reading specialist, assistant principal, principal, and superintendent. Mrs. Wright serves as a member of the New Jersey Professional Development Advisory Committee. She also served as the chair of the New Jersey Anti-Bullying Task Force and co-authored the New Jersey Bar Foundation's Anti-Bullying Curriculum. She is the developer of the Connected Action Roadmap (CAR), a comprehensive and coherent model of school improvement, which has been endorsed by the Partnership on Collaborative Professional Learning. Most recently, she spearheaded the development of the New Jersey Leadership Academy with the NJASA, in which cohorts of superintendents, assistant superintendents, principals, assistant principals, supervisors, and directors collaborate for a yearlong experience of quality, sustained professional learning.
Dr. Dolores Szymanski, Ed.D.
Curriculum Coordinator, Riverside School District
Since her retirement in 2011, Dr. Dolores Szymanski EDU, ‘74 ’76, has served as Interim Superintendent of the Shamong and Mt. Holly Township Public School District and as the Interim Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction in the Cinnaminson Township Public Schools. She currently serves as Curriculum Coordinator for Riverside School District. Dr. Szymanski served as an administrator and superintendent of the Burlington County Institute of Technology (BCIT) from 1983 to 2011. A 1974 cum laude graduate of Temple University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education/Social Studies, Dr. Szymanski holds a Master of Education degree in Psychology of Reading also from Temple. She earned her doctorate in education at Wilmington University.
Retired District Supervisor of Mathematics and Art
Judith T. Brendel is an educational consultant who has been a teacher, supervisor, author and professional educator who develops, facilitates and presents professional learning opportunities for teachers and other educational leaders across New Jersey and nearby states. She has completed over 35 years as a teacher, director of curriculum and educational supervisor working in all grade-levels K-16. In addition to serving on the Executive Board of FEA, Judith serves on the speaker’s bureau of AMTNJ (Association of Math Teachers of NJ), FEA, and TMI (The Madison Institute). Judith earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration, Curriculum and Instruction from Rutgers University and received various undergraduate degrees and certifications in mathematics and in elementary education from William Paterson University in New Jersey, and earlier in fine arts from Hunter College in New York. Judith also authors math review books for Barron’s Publishers; her most recent ones are a Common Core Math Workbook for grade-2 and a Grade-8 PARCC NJ Math Review book for Barron’s new assessment series. Her next will be a national edition of a grade-8 PARCC Review book.
FEA Board Members
Jay Doolan, Ed.D.
CEO of FEA
Jay Doolan is the Chief Executive Officer for the Foundation for Educational Administration (FEA). Before joining FEA, Dr. Doolan was the assistant commissioner for the Division of Educational Standards and Programs at the NJ Department of Education. In this position, he was responsible for the development and implementation of the Core Curriculum Content Standards, the statewide assessment system, and the secondary transformation initiative. He also oversaw the operations of the following offices: Academic Standards, State Assessments, Math and Science Education, Language Arts Literacy Education, Career and Technical Education, Charter Schools, Professional Standards, Licensing, and Higher Education Collaboration. Prior to this, Dr. Doolan served as director of several offices, including: Academic and Professional Standards, Direct Services, Urban Education, Bilingual Education, and Education for Homeless Children and Youth. He also worked in the Camden City Public Schools and served in the Peace Corps as a teacher in Turkey and Ghana.
CFO of FEA
Denise Hecht is presently the Assistant Executive Director for the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA) and Chief Financial Officer for the Foundation for Educational Administration, Inc. (FEA). Prior to this, she was the Founder and President of DenTel Practice Management. Her firm offered professional and staff development in the fields of education, health care, and business. She received her MBA from Wagner College in New York where she has served as an adjunct member of the graduate school business administration faculty. She has also served as an adjunct professor at Farleigh Dickinson University. Ms. Hecht is a published writer, the author of the CLICK Profile for Educators, and is a certified NLP practitioner. Ms. Hecht has served as the President of the New Jersey Association of Partners in Education and has been a board member of the David Sarnoff Library and Museum. In partnership with the NJDOE and the New Jersey Association of School Administrators, she has assisted in writing and successfully implemented a $5.1 million grant for training Superintendents and Principals in leadership and technology in the state of New Jersey. She has also presented at several national conferences on leadership in the health, education, and business-related fields. Ms. Hecht was past Director of the Institute for Education and Cognitive Psychology, an organization devoted to the personal and professional improvement of teachers and administrators.
Principal, Grant School, Ridgefield Park
Angela Bender's bio will appear soon.
Principal, Livingston Park Elementary School, North Brunswick
Janet Ciarrocca is the principal at Livingston Park Elementary School in North Brunswick, NJ. Throughout a 29 year career in education, she has moved from classroom teacher, to library media specialist to principal. She has worked in both urban and suburban districts. A lifelong learner, she is a proud graduate of the NJ EXCEL program. Janet is currently participating in the Learning Forward Academy program, a 2 ½ year cohort focused on a specific job embedded problem of practice, in this case, the CAR process. She is passionate about professional learning and figuring out ways to reach every learner.
Principal, Brookside Elementary School, Westwood Regional School District
Tom Conroy is currently the of Brookside Elementary School in the Westwood Regional School District. He has been in Westwood for the past four years. Prior to serving in his current position, Tom held both teaching, and administrative positions on the elementary, middle, high school, and district levels. He is entering his third year on the NJPSA/FEA Leadership Academy Development and Presentation Teams. Tom completed both his undergraduate and graduate work, at Montclair State University.
Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Hamilton Township (Mercer County) School District
Mr. Scotto currently serves as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the Hamilton Township School District. Previously, he served as the K-12 Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the Barnegat Township Public School District. Prior to working in Barnegat, Mr. Scotto was the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the Tri-District of Atlantic Highlands/Highlands/Henry Hudson Regional. Before Mr. Scotto became an administrator 11 years ago, he was a classroom teacher for 10 years. He earned his MA in Administration/Curriculum Planning/Supervision from Georgian Court University and his BA in Elementary Education/American Studies from St. Peter's College (University). He and his wife (Heather) currently reside in Monmouth County and have a son.
A retired educator since 2015, Tuntstall served the Trenton Public School system as a teacher, assistant principal, assistant superintendent and principal.
Tunstall is also a Past President of New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association and currently sits as a Board Member to the Foundation for Educational Administration, Inc.
Presently, she is a consultant with the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education as a Mentor to aspiring school administrators. Tunstall is a mother of one daughter and two grandchildren.