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



    The 2024 New Jersey Superintendent of the Year Dr. Nicholas A. Bernice
    is available to comment on Education-Related Issues.

    Trenton, New Jersey, November 7, 2023 ... Dr. Nicholas A. Bernice, Chief Education Officer, Ringwood School District, was selected New Jersey's 2024 Superintendent of the Year by the New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA) and is a candidate for the National Superintendent of the Year Award by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA).

    In September, NJASA selected Dr. Bernice as the Region I Superintendent of the Year for New Jersey. The other honorees included the Region II recipient – Dr. Scott Rubin, Chief Education Officer, Cranford Public Schools; and Region III recipient – Beth F. Norcia, Chief Education Officer, Maple Shade School District.

    AASA will honor each state representative and select a National Superintendent of the Year at their National Conference on Education in February 2024 in San Diego, CA. This prestigious program, now in its 37th year, is sponsored by First Student, Corebridge Financial, and AASA.

    NJASA Executive Director, Dr. Richard G. Bozza, said "Nick exemplifies the best a chief education officer can be. He is a dedicated, hard-working professional who continually strives to improve the quality of education for all students."

    In accepting this prestigious honor and in recognizing the hard work of students and staff, Dr. Bernice said that he, “shares this award with everyone who woke up today and choose to either come to school to learn, or go to work in support of learning, both ensuring a successful tomorrow.”

    The 2024 New Jersey Superintendent of the Year is a recognized county and regional superintendent from Ringwood's Public Schools, formerly an award-winning “New Jersey Schools to Watch” principal, and a successful high school science teacher. Currently, he serves as an executive board member of the Northern Region Educational Services Commission, as Treasurer of the Passaic County Association of School Administrators, as an affiliate member of the Kean University Diversity Council on Global Education and Citizenship, a member of the Passaic County Curriculum Consortium, a friend of Ringwood Public Library, and for the previous two years as a board member of the Chilton Medical Center’s Community Health Advisory Committee.

    Dr. Bernice was appointed the Chief Education Officer of the Ringwood School District in 2016 and also serves as the district’s Curriculum Director. He brings a wide range of leadership and educational expertise to the district and community as the senior certified school official. He holds certifications in New Jersey as a School Administrator, School Business Administrator (CE), Principal, Supervisor, Teacher of Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Military Science, K-5 Elementary, and Reading Specialist. Previously, he served as the Principal of the Leonia Middle School. He began his educational career in 1999 as a high school science teacher.

    Communication with the community on school matters using a virtual town hall style format has been a hallmark of Dr. Bernice's time in Ringwood. The format provides the community with the most up-to-date information on topics such as enrichment instruction, curriculum work, and other various relevant and responsive school topics.

    The Ringwood Board of Education is weathering a seven-year, $1.1 Million-dollar, state aid cut.  With the help of Dr. Bernice working closely with the board finance committee, there has been minimal disruption to instructional delivery or services. Through grants and many years of creative cost savings, Ringwood has been able to make great strides in providing top-tiered professional development and curricular advancement. 

    During the 2022-2023 school year, the Ringwood School District recognized the need to re-balance their approach to balanced literacy.  Dr. Bernice initiated a Phonics Committee which recommended changes to K-3 Language Instruction.  As a result, significant gains were seen on the DIBLES assessment in alphabet knowledge, Phonological & Phonic Awareness, Phonics and Decoding, and Fluency.

    His service, as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, is noteworthy from his participation in the Coast Guard’s response to the attack on September 11, 2001 in New York City to, most recently in 2022, being selected by the Departments of State, Defense, and Homeland Security to lead the K-12 educational program for over 1,600 Afghan child evacuees who were living in the Safe Haven at Joint Base McGuire, Dix, Lakehurst in New Jersey.  Dr. Bernice continues to serve in his current assignment as the Reserve Command Master Chief for Sector Southeastern New England.

    Dr. Bernice has always fostered continuing education and has held positions as a Part-Time Associate Professor at St. John’s University, an Adjunct Professor at Ramapo College of New Jersey, and is currently an Adjunct Professor at William Paterson University. At each higher education institution, he taught in their graduate schools of education.

    He brings his teaching aptitude with him into his other interest, flying airplanes. He is licensed as an FAA Airline Transport Pilot, Commercial Pilot, and holds both Ground and Flight Instructor Certificates. With over 790 hours of dual flight instruction given, many pilots have benefitted from having Dr. Bernice as a teacher in the air, and he takes great pride in having trained and evaluated many aspiring pilots.

    The New Jersey 2024 Superintendent of the Year holds a Doctor of Education in Administration and Supervision from St. John’s University. Additionally, he holds a Master of Arts in Reading Education from St. Peter’s University, a Master of Science in Educational Technology from Ramapo College of New Jersey, and a Bachelor of Science in General Science from Fordham University.

    AASA will announce the National Superintendent of the Year at its Annual Conference on Education in February 2024.


    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.