NJPSA/FEA Board of Directors
2018-19 NJPSA Board of Directors
Heather Moran - President
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 sixth 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 - President-Elect
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.
Ralph Aiello - Immediate Past President
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.
Robin L. Moore, Ed.D. - Vice President
Principal, Roland Rogers Elementary School, Galloway Twp.
Term: 2017 - 2020
Dr. Robin Moore has been an educator for over 20 years. She has elementary and secondary educational experience as a teacher, supervisor, assistant principal and principal. Currently, she serves the principal of Roland Rogers Elementary School in Galloway Township. Dr. Moore has served as the president of The Atlantic-Cape Principals' & Supervisors’ Association since 2013. She is an active council member of the NJ Principals’ & Supervisors’ Association and has memberships with ASCD and NAESP. Dr. Moore holds a BA in Business Administration from Stockton College, and Masters and Doctorate degrees in Educational Administration & Educational Leadership from Rowan University. She holds New Jersey Education certifications in Teacher of the Handicapped and Principal / Supervisor. She also holds Certificates of Eligibility in School Business Administration and School Administration. In recent years, she has received numerous awards which includes; 2003 NAACP Service Award; 2003 Military Order of the Purple Heart Distinguished Service Award, Stockton’s Black Faculty & Staff’s 2005 Distinguished Alumni Award; 2006 Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Purpose Driven Life Award, and 2010 Educational Leadership Hope Image Award, 2013 New Mt. Calvary Women of the Year Award and she was a recipient of the Atlantic County Church School & BTU 2014 Dedication Award .
Paul Christopher, Ed.D. - Recording Secretary
Principal, Monmouth County VSD-Class Academy, Monmouth Co. Vo-Tech and Shore Regional Board of Education member
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. Paul is also a member of the Legislative Committee, Standards and Assessment Committee, and Strategic Planning Committee of NJSBA. He is Assembly Delegate for Monmouth County School Boards Association and Member of Monmouth County School Boards Association.
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.
NJPSA Board Members
Karen Beckford-Bennett, Ed.D.
Principal, Lovell J. Honiss School, Dumont
Term: 2018 - 2021
Dr. Karen Beckford-Bennett has been an accomplished New Jersey Educator for 27 years, and has spent the last 15 years as Principal of Lovell J. Honiss School in Dumont, New Jersey. She joined the Dumont School District in 2002 serving as the vice-principal of Honiss School before moving into the principalship. Her prior administrative experience was in the Englewood School district where she served as a school facilitator / vice-principal. Prior to becoming an administrator, Karen’s teaching career began in the Teaneck Public Schools where she taught for 10 years at both the elementary (grades 3 and 4) and the middle school level (math and science - grade 6). She is currently the co-chair of the Dumont Administrators and Supervisors Association. Dr. Bennett earned her BA in Elementary Education from the University of Pennsylvania, her MA in Administration and Supervision from Bank Street College of Education, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Organizational Management from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a recent recipient of the Bergen County Excellence in Education Award. Dr. Bennett is passionate about curriculum and instruction, issues of equity and closing the achievement gaps.
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 22 years experience in the field of education. For the past 16 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.
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 41 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 37th year as a New Jersey Educator. She is currently Principal of Neptune Middle School. During her 25 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 23 years and is entering his seventh 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.
FEA Board Members
Donna McInerney, Ed.D.
CEO of FEA
Donna McInerney is the Chief Executive Officer of FEA, having previously served for nearly six years as FEA's Director of Program Development and Design. A former high school Social Studies teacher and supervisor, she earned her doctorate from the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University, specializing in curriculum theory and development. Over the last 15 years she has been an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Graduate Education, Leadership and Counseling at Rider University and in the Educational Administration and Secondary Education Program at The College of New Jersey. She currently teaches in the NJ EXCEL program. Throughout the course of her career, Dr. McInerney has provided professional learning experiences on a wide variety of topics including tools for professional learning communities, the Connected Action Roadmap (CAR), research-based instructional strategies, classroom management techniques, project-based learning, differentiated instruction, curriculum integration, and cooperative learning strategies. Her most recent work has focused on the instructional leadership skills and coherent frameworks needed to improve teacher practice, drive student achievement and ensure systemic, sustained, school improvement.
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 Pucci Bender is currently the Principal of Grant School in the Ridgefield Park School District. She began her career in education with the Fair Lawn Public School District where she was a Business Education teacher in grades 6- 12. Angela served her last several years at Fair Lawn as the District Technology Specialist providing teacher professional development and in-class technology support. She joined Ridgefield Park in 2005 as a Supervisor of the Fine, Performing and Practical Arts. Angela has been the Grant School Principal since 2006. She held both teaching, and administrative positions and responsibilities on the elementary, middle, high school, and district levels. She is a proud NJ EXCEL graduate and a former NJPSA Board Member. She is an NJ EXCEL instructor and serves in various mentor positions throughout the program since 2005. Angela is also an Adjunct Professor at Ramapo College of New Jersey in the Master of Science in Educational Technology program. She has written curriculum for children and adult learners. Angela completed her undergraduate work at Montclair State, her graduate work at Ramapo College, her post-masters at NJ EXCEL, two post-masters and her Doctoral coursework at Capella University.
Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology, North Brunswick
Janet Ciarrocca is the Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology, North Brunswick and was formerly the principal at Livingston Park Elementary School. Throughout a 30 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 five 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 fourth 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 12 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.