NJPSA Announces 2014 Visionary Award Recipients

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The New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2013-2014 Visionary Leadership Awards.

Maria Iozzi, principal of Red Bank Middle School, was named Visionary Leader of the Year, Elementary Level Principal; Dr. Kevin Holloway, principal of Terrill Middle School in Scotch Plains, was named Visionary Leader of the Year, Secondary Level Principal; Lyndell Davis, assistant principal of Hopewell Valley Central High School, was named Visionary Leader of the Year, Secondary Level Assistant Principal; and Brendan McIsaac, English Supervisor for Hunterdon Central Regional High school, was named Visionary Leader of the Year, Supervisor/Director. Each will receive his/her award at the NJPSA Fall Conference at the Ocean Place Resort in Long Branch, NJ in October.

Throughout her 16-year career, including six as the principal at Red Bank Middle School, Maria Iozzi has demonstrated outstanding leadership in increasing the academic rigor and success for her students. At the 7th and 8th grade levels, she has implemented a program call “AVID”, Advancement Via Individual Determination, which ensures that all students will succeed in the most rigorous curriculum, will enter mainstream activities of the school, will increase their enrollment in four-year colleges, and will become educated and responsible participants and leaders in a democratic society. Iozzi has also introduced extensive academic support programs during the day and after school for both academic enrichment and remediation. She has also successfully established collaborative relationships with parents and families, citing high participation rates for parent-teacher conferences and student-led conferences.

During the 2008-2009 school year, Dr. Kevin Holloway instituted a new school-day schedule at Terrill Middle School adding a period each day designed to enhance the advisory program, a writing workshop course, and a math explorations class. Throughout the planning stages for the new schedule, Dr. Holloway solicited the advice and support of his fellow administrators, the superintendent, Board members, parents, and students. In addition, he instituted the “HEROS” program, a weekly, service-oriented group for 7th and 8th grade boys considered “at risk” and/or exhibiting leadership potential. Through his successful “Check-in/Check-Out” volunteer program, grade-level teams identify students who, for socio-economic reasons, are in need of an adult mentor and make sure that teachers “check-in”: on these students on a regular basis.

Following a 2012 survey that showed a high number of students who reported depression or thoughts of suicide, Lyndell Davis formed the Behavioral Health Assessment Team (BHAT) at Hopewell Valley Central High School to support students in need of counseling. The BHAT consists of school counselors, a school psychologist, a social worker, a student assistance coordinator, and the Vice-Principal, who meet monthly to discuss open cases and new referrals. The BHAT is then able to make recommendations to teachers as to how to best support their students in the classroom. While less than one year old, the BHAT process has help the school move from the one-size-fits-all model to meeting the different and varying needs of all students.

When Hunterdon Central High School was identified as a School in Need of Improvement (SINI), Brendan McIsaac developed a plan to meet the needs of the identified student groups. Creating additional opportunities for those students to receive academic support on a regular basis, McIsaac ensured that those students were ultimately able to achieve the performance level expected, and the school improved its status as a Focus School. McIsaac was also instrumental in promoting better teamwork among the faculty and supporting professional development opportunities that have energized the teachers and their students.

In addition to these awards, Ms. Iozzi is the New Jersey recipient of the NAESP National Distinguished Principal Award, Dr. Holloway is the New Jersey recipient of the NASSP/MetLife Principal of the Year Award, and Mr. Davis is the New Jersey recipient of the NASSP Assistant Principal of the Year Award.

NJPSA congratulates each of the 2014 Visionary Award Winners and proudly announces that each of the award winners will receive $5,000 for their school, as well as a personal check for $1,000.