Barbato Named NJ Special Education Administrator of the Year
Front, second from left, Dr. Paul Barbato, Director of Special Services, Dumont Public Schools, was selected the New Jersey Special Education Administrator of the Year by NJASA, NJAPSA and the Centris Group/IEP Direct, an NJASA Titanium Sponsor. Joining Barbato at the awards ceremony during the General Session of the NJASA/NJAPSA Annual Spring Conference, in Atlantic City, are front, from left, NJASA Allied Member Andrew Horelick, Vice President, Centris Group/IEP Direct; NJASA Special Education Committee Chair Lizabeth Buoro; and NJAPSA Co-Executive Director Kathleen French. Back, from left, Dr. Thomas Reap, President and CEO, Centris Group/IEP Direct; NJAPSA Co-Executive Director Ted Kozlik; NJASA Executive Director Dr. Richard Bozza; NJASA President Dr. Gary McCartney and NJAPSA President Patricia Hovey.
Dr. Paul Barbato, Director of Special Services, Dumont Public Schools, was selected the New Jersey Special Education Administrator of the Year by the New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA), the New Jersey Association of Pupil Services Administrators (NJAPSA) and Centris Group/IEP Direct, a Titanium Sponsor of NJASA.
NJASA Titanium Sponsor Andrew Horelick, Vice President, Centris Group/IEP Direct, and one of the sponsors of this prestigious award said, “Paul Barbato is a champion for students with disabilities and their families. His can-do attitude, combined with his thought leadership in the field of special education and innovativeness as an administrator make Paul an exemplary role model.”
This award, the second in the history of NJASA, NJAPSA and Centris Group/IEPDirect, recognizes a special education administrator who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in providing services to students with special needs and whose work reflects the highest professional and ethical standards.
Highly respected in the New Jersey Special Education communities, Barbato is an exceptional leader with over 12-years experience in Special Education.
In accepting his award, Barbato shared, "As we each have our distinct roles and responsibilities in our respective school systems, let us look to Albert Einstein as he reminds to 'Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.'”
Barbato, a prolific writer and noted author and a consummate speaker, introduced a commendable model of - RTI: Response to Intervention – to the Dumont School District. He was instrumental in establishing a partnership with Fairleigh Dickenson University and the Center for Dyslexia Studies, to train Special Education teachers as Orton Gillingham certified. Barbato introduced the use of assistive technology software and iPads to support students eligible for special education and related services in Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade classrooms in the Dumont Public Schools. He co-created a vibrant after-school program for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders that involved supplemental instruction along with mentoring from high school student and Fairleigh Dickinson University student mentors.
A Union City resident, Barbato initiated a Special Education Transition Program, at the Dumont High School, that provides students with supports and experiences they need to enter into post secondary education or employment.
Barbato was a component in the reestablished Tri-Valley Academy partnership with the Bergenfield and Bergen County Special Services School Districts that provides students with autism the opportunity to attend public schools with their non-disabled peers.
Prior to serving as the Director of Special Services of the Dumont Public Schools, he was a school psychologist/administrator in the Rahway Public Schools and psychologist in the Jersey City Public Schools. Barbato teaches undergraduate and graduate courses within the Psychology and Education Departments of Hudson County Community College and Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Currently, he serves on the Executive Boards of the New Jersey Special Education Administrator Association (NJSEAA) and the NJAPSA.
An NJASA member, Barbato earned his Doctorate from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He received his Master’s degree from New Jersey City University and his undergraduate degree from St. Peter’s University.
The selection qualifications for the New Jersey Special Education Administrator of the Year include: dedication to students with disabilities and their families; demonstrated exemplary contributions to the field of special education; respected by colleagues for leadership qualities; demonstrated distinguished level of professional and ethical standards; knowledge of special education law; demonstrated leadership in special education process and improvement to enhance compliance and best-practices; demonstrated vision for the use of technology in education and program administration; active role in providing professional development for staff; and active role in professional organizations, regional groups and/or community affairs.