In early April, our association had the opportunity to appear before the Legislature’s Joint Committee on the Public Schools to promote NJASA 4 Equity. We wanted to demonstrate how we are using our voice as school leaders to achieve a vision of equity for all New Jersey students by articulating clear beliefs that synthesize the intent of Vision 2020, and by addressing key questions to operationalize the beliefs through a sustainable action plan. Deep discussions have revealed that designing strategies for our association as a whole may undersell our most important assets: you as individual leaders! We have broadened our work to two essential questions: What is NJASA doing?; and What can we as members do?
In our last On Target, I shared some of the initiatives NJASA is working on to address the first question, and those efforts continue to grow. We are also excited about the great work going on in our schools and districts to address the second question. Last month we hosted two wonderful opportunities to learn what equity looks like in practice at our Women’s Leadership Conference on March 14-15, and our first-ever Equity Conference sponsored by Scholastic on March 29. Both events were highlighted by powerful national speakers, but also showcased panels of our NJASA colleagues who targeted their remarks to specific local practices that enhance equitable access to resources, programs, and services.
At our Spring Conference on May 15-17, we will again offer compelling presenters who will challenge our thinking in a healthy way. They will be followed by several breakout sessions for those who want to take a deeper dive into what we can do in our own districts to promote equity. Let me give a special invitation to join us on Thursday at 12:15 p.m. for the Leadership Diversity Lunch and Learn. This networking and support opportunity is designed to allow us to engage, encourage, and inspire one another. A focus for this event will be to help our members — particularly minorities, women, and non-superintendents — prepare for their next interview for a position in educational leadership.
I want to congratulate Mr. Tony Trongone, Superintendent of the Pemberton Township Public Schools, on his election as NJASA Treasurer for 2019-20. We look forward to Tony bringing his energy and experience to our leadership team.
My congratulations also go out to Dr. Scott McCartney, NJASA Past President and Superintendent of the Moorestown Township Public Schools, who will be recognized at the Spring Conference with NJASA’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. Scott mentored me onto the executive officer team and provided great examples of the positive influence we can employ to change our small corner of the world.
Our thanks go out to Immediate Past-President Dr. Michael Kuchar for chairing both the Nomination Committee and the Distinguished Service Award Committee that spotlighted these outstanding individuals and their service to our association.
Dr. G. Kennedy Greene