NJPSA Names 2019 Visionary Leaders of the Year

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The New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2019 Visionary Leadership Awards.


Pamela Hernandez, principal of John F. Kennedy School in Jamesburg, was named Visionary Leader of the Year, Elementary Level Principal; Paul Mucciarone, principal of Monmouth County Academy of Allied Health and Science, was named Visionary Leader of the Year, Secondary Level Principal; Terence Johnson, assistant principal of Cumberland regional High School, was named Visionary Leader of the Year, Secondary Level Assistant Principal; and JoAnne Negrin, Ed.D., supervisor of ESL, Bilingual Education, World Languages, and Performing Arts for Vineland Public Schools, was named Visionary Leader of the Year, Supervisor/Director. Each will receive his/her award at the NJPSA/FEA/NJASCD Fall Conference at the Ocean Place Resort in Long Branch, NJ in October.


In her four+ years at JFK School, Pamela Hernandez has identified many needs and has gone to great lengths to establish a “you-matter culture” to improve the climate at the school. Adding a personal touch to communication with parents, she shares her cell phone with many parents so they can talk at any time and has walked chronically absent students to school. She upgraded her literacy and math programs and built a book room for teachers. When she needed to raise enough money to upgrade the technology for students, she created a Run-All-Day fundraising page and ran 26.2 miles in the New Jersey Marathon.In addition, she supported her teachers’ initiative to launch a dual-language immersion program within their classes, which has now expanded into preschool, kindergarten, first, and second grades.


Paul Mucciarone  is a proud graduate of the United States Naval Academy and served his country with distinction from 1981 to 2001. Upon his retirement, he was hired as a Naval Science Instructor at the Marine Academy of Science and technology and then as principal of Monmouth County Academy of Allied Health and Sciences in 2011. He has worked to improve cohesion among his teaching staff by promoting healthier patterns of communication, better participation habits, and identifying goals tied to the schools’ mission. Action research plans were built related to the mission and became the basis for three professional learning communities. These improvements led to the school’s recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School in 2018. Mucciarone is also a graduate of the NJEXCEL program.


Terence Johnson established the freshman seminar/senior mentoring program at Cumberland Regional High School to support struggling freshmen as they transfer into high school. This credit-bearing course partners incoming freshmen with role-model senior mentors to work together during and outside of class time on character and leadership development, the promotion of positive school culture, and setting and progressing toward the achievement of goals for academic success. The program is innovative in its focus on the development of positive attitudes, approaches and habits to drive targeted outcomes rather than a traditional reliance on tutoring and punitive consequences. The program’s benefits include reductions in suspensions, courses failed, unexcused absences, and retentions.


JoAnne Negrin has worked diligently to promote best practices for English Language Learners, bringing program changes to ensure rigorous expectations and equal access to curriculum for bilingual students. While many were initially resistant to change, soon staff throughout the district were on board and making a difference. Central to this process was the development of a community of experts among staff who have taken on leadership roles and presented at several conferences and have served on state committees. Under Negrin, Vineland’s K-5 Bilingual Program has become a NJDOE Model Program for 2016-2018 and four other programs were designated NJDOE Model Programs for 2018-2020.


In addition to these awards, Pamela Hernandez is the New Jersey recipient of the NAESP National Distinguished Principal Award, Paul Mucciarone is the New Jersey recipient of the NASSP Principal of the Year Award, and Terence Johnson is the New Jersey recipient of the NASSP Assistant Principal of the Year Award.


NJPSA congratulates each of the 2017-2018 Visionary Award Winners and proudly announces that they will receive $7,000 for their school, as well as a personal check for $1,000 at the NJPSA/FEA/NJASCD Fall Conference on October at the Ocean Place Resort in Long Branch, NJ.