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    Press Release
    Anne H. Gallagher
    NJASA Director of Communications
    609-599-2900, ext. 126


    The 2015 New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA) Central Regional Superintendent of the Year Dr. Timothy Purnell, Chief Education Officer, Somerville Public Schools, is available to comment on education-related issues.







    Atlantic City, New Jersey, October 29, 2014 ... Dr. Timothy Purnell, Chief Education Officer, Somerville Public Schools, was selected the 2015 New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA) Central Regional Superintendent of the Year. He was introduced today at the morning general session of the Annual Fall Workshop. The workshop is co-sponsored by NJASA, the New Jersey Association of School Business Officials (NJASBO) and the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA).

    This is the seventh year of NJASA’s selection process to choose three regional – Central, Southern, and Northern - Superintendents of the Year winners. The two other chief education officers joining Purnell are:

    Southern Regional winner – Dr. Scott McCartney, Chief Education Officer, Egg Harbor Township School District; and Northern Regional winner – Dr. Lauren Schoen, Chief Education Officer, Mahwah School District.

    NJASA Executive Director Richard G. Bozza said, “Tim Purnell is an excellent role model for all aspiring chief education officers to emulate. He is a results-oriented professional who continually strives to improve the quality of education for all students through his knowledge, experience and enthusiasm.”

    From his vantage point of ten plus years as a school administrator, Purnell states, “As chief education officer of the Somerville Public Schools, I have conveyed a positive message for the recent changes in the teacher and principal evaluation systems.”

    He added, “I felt a positive message was essential to diminish any notion of viral negativity within the organization. From my perspective, it was an opportunity for the district to recalibrate how we assess teachers and principals.”

    The Central Regional Superintendent of the Year began his tenure as the chief education officer of the Somerville Public Schools on February 1, 2011. He serves on the New Jersey State Board of Examiners and has worked as an adjunct professor at Montclair State University since 2002.

    Prior to his post in Somerville, Purnell served as the chief education officer in Harding Township, NJ for three years. He also served as a middle school principal, elementary vice principal and science teacher.

    Purnell received his Bachelors in Arts in 1997 from the University of Delaware with a concentration in Biology and a minor in Genetics. He received his Masters in Administration and Supervision in 2002 from Montclair State University and his Doctorate from Seton Hall University in 2008. His research, entitled No Transient Child Left Behind, studied the link between student transience and standardized test scores on a global and local level.

    The Central Regional Superintendent of the Year has presented for the NJEA (2002), Techspo (2011), NJASA/NJSBA (2012), NJSBA (2013), NJASA (2014), and served as a keynote speaker for the Monmouth University Student Employment Awards (2008), New Jersey Development Council Leadership Conference (2009), and Vollers Excavating & Construction Annual Kick-off Meeting (2013). His backpack research, in cooperation with Montclair State University, was featured in the New York Times and Star Ledger

    He was also nominated to the Seton Hall Community Advisory Board, Advisory Council for the NJDOE Office of Governance & Leadership Development, and NJDOE State Program Approval Council.  Currently, he is serving in his second year as the President of the Somerset County Association of School Administrators.

    21st Century Leadership has always been a part of the fabric of his being. As a middle school science educator in Montclair in 2001, Purnell applied for a grant entitled Internet Accountability where parents could log into class and absent students could attend through a webcam and instant messenger. He submitted his first community blog entry in October of 2008 and his first tweet in October of 2009. His blog was given the 2010 Top School District Blog Award. He was also featured on the #HouseofEdTech as a VIP in 2014.

    Each regional winner was judged on the following qualifications: 1) minimum of five years experience as a chief education officer; 2) record of service within their respective county affiliate and NJASA; and 3) a distinguished record as an educator.

    The next step in the process for the three regional winners will be the selection of a New Jersey candidate to participate in the AASA National Superintendent of the Year Award. A committee of NJASA Past Presidents will select the 2015 New Jersey Superintendent of the Year. The program, 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 2015. The recipient of this prestigious honor will receive a $10,000 college scholarship for a student at the high school where the superintendent graduated.



    About NJASA:

    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. The Association is located 920 West State Street, Trenton, New Jersey 08618-5328. For more information -- PH: 609.599.2900 / Fax: 609.599.9359 / website: www.njasa.net