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Trenton, New Jersey, November 20, 2013.... Dr. Philip J. Guenther, Chief Education Officer, Atlantic County Vocational School District was selected New Jersey's 2014 candidate for the American Association of School Administrators' (AASA) National Superintendent of the Year Award by the New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA).
NJASA Executive Director Richard G. Bozza said, “NJASA is pleased to have someone of Phil Guenther’s stature receive this well-respected honor. His unique background and pedagogical experience has assisted in improving educational efforts throughout Atlantic County.”
The NJASA procedure names three regional – Northern, Central and Southern – Superintendent of the Year winners prior to selection of the State Superintendent of the Year. Guenther was selected the NJASA Southern Regional Superintendent of the Year. The two other chief education officers joining Guenther are: Northern Regional winner – Patrick J. Fletcher, Chief Education Officer, River Dell Regional School District; and
Central Regional winner – Dr. Michael Gorman, Chief Education Officer, Pemberton Township Public Schools.
All the regional Superintendents of the Year were introduced on October 22nd at the Opening General Session of the Annual Fall Workshop in Atlantic City. The workshop was co-sponsored by the NJASA, the New Jersey Association of School Business Officials (NJASBO) and the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA).
During NJ Superintendent of the Year Guenther’s tenure at the Atlantic County Vocational School District, the Atlantic County Institute of Technology (ACIT) has undergone a $40 million expansion and renovation project which has transformed the school into a comprehensive career and technical high school with an enrollment of approximately 1200 students. The success of the academic and career and technical programs at ACIT has been recognized with a National Blue Ribbon designation in 2008 and by US News & World Report “America’s Best High Schools’ edition as a Bronze Level School.
Guenther has been involved in public education for three decades. Joining the teaching staff at Atlantic City High School in 1981, he taught both English and Social Studies and coached multiple sports. Later, he was promoted to the position of vice principal. In 1994, he was named assistant principal of the Atlantic County Vocational School and promoted to principal in 1997. He was named chief educator of the Atlantic County Vocational School District in 2004.
An NJASA member since 2004, he has served on numerous NJASA standing and ad hoc Committees. He was one of the first professional development presenters to address the topic of student electronic portfolios at county, regional, state and national programs.
From 2011 to 2013, Guenther served as president of the New Jersey Council of County Vocational Schools which is an association of superintendents and school board members representing the state's 21 county vocational school districts.
Throughout his professional career, Guenther has been actively involved in his community. He began his career in public service as a member of the Brigantine Board of Education in 1989, and he was elected to the Brigantine City Council in 1990. In 1993, he was elected to his first term as mayor, and he continues to serve in that position today.
Guenther is also actively involved in projects that benefit all Atlantic County residents through his service as a member and past president of the Atlantic County Mayors Association. He also serves on the Atlantic County Workforce Investment Board, Youth Services Commission, and Youth Investment Council.
A lifelong Atlantic County resident, Guenther, graduated from Holy Spirit High School and continued his education earning a B.A. at Glassboro State College (Rowan University), an M.S. in Administration at Central Michigan University, and an Ed.D. at Seton Hall University in Educational Administration.
A committee of NJASA Past Presidents selected Guenther to represent New Jersey in the 2014 National Superintendent of the Year Program. The national award, established in 1988 and sponsored by ARAMARK Education, VALIC, and AASA, is open to all public school superintendents in the United States and overseas.
The selection qualifications for the State and National Superintendent of the Year include: meeting the needs of their students, demonstrated communication strength, a commitment to professional development and growth, and significant community involvement. Additionally, at the state and regional levels, NJASA has an additional qualification that addresses service with the county affiliate and NJASA.
AASA will announce the National Superintendent of the Year at its Annual Conference on Education in February 2014. The recipient of this prestigious honor will receive a $10,000 college scholarship for a student at the high school where the superintendent graduated.
Guenther lives with his wife of 31years, Lee Ann, and they are the proud parents of a daughter, Julia, who is a student at Stanford University.
The New Jersey Association of School Administrators is an organization of chief education officers and school administrators who lead school districts in New Jersey’s 21 counties. The Association’s mission is to ensure a superior statewide system of education. Through ongoing professional training and education, the Association shares knowledge among its members about best practices from both educational and administrative perspectives. Its goal is to move education forward by ensuring the highest quality of instruction for all New Jersey children.
Education Brief Videos Explain Budget Considerations
What schools can offer to students is directly affected by budget. Due to the complexity of the school budget cuts and the effects that will be felt in schools across the state, the NJASA has released a series of videos to help parents and taxpayers better understand the issues, and the potential aftermath of the events and changes. Each video can be accessed on a special NJASA YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/TheNJASA or by clicking on the YouTube icon on the NJASA website, www.njasa.net.