• Press Release

    Contact Anne H. Gallagher

    NJASA Director of Communications

    609-599-2900, ext. 126



    NJASA Names Three Regional Superintendents of the Year

    Region I

    Dr. Laurie W. Newell

    Essex Regional Educational

    Services Commission

    Region II

    Dr. MaryJane Garibay

    Colts Neck Township



    Region III

    Dr. William T. Smith

    Point Pleasant Beach

    School District




    The 2023 NJASA Regional Superintendents of the Year Are Available to Comment on Education-Related Issues.


    Trenton, NJ October 25, 2022…… The New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA) has selected three regional 2023 Superintendents of the Year. They are: Region I recipient – Dr. Laurie W. Newell, Chief Education Officer, Essex Regional Educational Services Commission (ERESC); Region II recipient – Dr. MaryJane Garibay, Chief Education Officer, Colts Neck Township Schools; and Region III recipient – Dr. William T. Smith, Chief Education Officer, Point Pleasant Beach School District.

    The three Regional Superintendents of the Year will be introduced at the Annual Fall Workshop in Atlantic City on Tuesday, October 25th. The Workshop is co-sponsored by NJASA, the New Jersey Association of School Business Officials (NJASBO), and the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA).

    NJASA Executive Director Dr. Richard G. Bozza said, "On behalf of NJASA, it is a privilege to acknowledge and congratulate New Jersey’s 2023 three regional superintendents. They are remarkable chief education officers with vision, imagination, and compassion for the students, staff and communities they serve."

    Dr. Laurie W. Newell, Region I recipient, is in her seventh year as Chief Education Officer of the ERESC. She initiated and led all related work regarding the Strategic Plan with the district’s leadership team and stakeholders. In addition, she has reviewed and revamped all the programs offered to the students, who are considered some of the most vulnerable and at-risk students in the county. As a way to connect the students and families within the various communities that she serves, Dr. Newell created a Community and Stakeholder Engagement Department. Committed to improving the lives of her students, she believes whole heartedly in her work and that it is every child’s right to receive a good and sound education that will prepare them for life experiences.

    Region II recipient Dr. MaryJane Garibay is immensely proud of a district goal centered around student engagement. The goal’s objective was intended to establish and support teachers’ knowledge of student engagement and its relationship to the work they design for students. Using ESSER funds, the district partnered with the Schlechty Center to develop and facilitate sustained professional development on how educators are responsible for the work they design for students and how this work determines the engagement level of their students. This shift in the way school leaders think about the work they plan for students affords several opportunities to establish a unique perspective of student engagement that is directly connected to the work and experiences created for the students.

    Dr. William T. Smith, Region III recipient, was instrumental in expanding the district’s AP course offerings and introduced the concept of open access for all students. This initiative resulted in a significant increase of 558% in the enrollment of AP courses over a four-year period. Today, more than half of the student body takes at least one AP course during their time in high school. He continued his strong record of commitment to the regeneration of public education by launching the Gull Flight School. This dual enrollment degree partnership with Ocean County College offers students the chance to select from 46 dual enrollment classes and complete an associate degree before graduating from high school. Also, all district schools have been named Apple Distinguished Schools and received Future Ready Schools Silver Tier recognition.

    The next step in the process for the three regional recipients 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 and former Regional Superintendents of the Year will select the 2023 New Jersey Superintendent of the Year. Now in its 36th year, the National Superintendent of the Year® Program pays tribute to the talent and vision of the men and women who lead our nation's public schools. This program is sponsored by First Student, Corebridge Financial and AASA.

    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.

    AASA will announce the National Superintendent of the Year at its Conference on Education in February 2023.


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