Looking Back and Moving Forward

Posted by NJASA Executive Director Dr. Richard G. Bozza on 1/6/2022

At NJASA, the children you educate and the members we serve are at the center of everything we do. NJASA is here to advocate for New Jersey students and to serve, support, and advise NJASA members so you can make the greatest positive impact on your community through your work.

As 2021 becomes a part of history, we reflect on the past year while looking forward to the months ahead. 2021 was a transformational year. The world was changing right before our eyes. There were numerous and significant challenges to overcome, as well as accomplishments to celebrate. As the last school year concluded, we were so hopeful that we could all return to a more normal way of life by the opening of schools in September. Our hope turned to frustration as the spread of Covid-19 infections increased to near record highs as 2021 concluded.

2022 promises thus far to be an equally eventful year filled with a continuing host of challenges and a need to adapt to everchanging conditions. We must anticipate that Covid-19 will be part of our lives for a long while. As district leaders, each day you address staffing vacancies and their negative impact on operations and student instruction. You face the continuing burdens of contact tracing, Covid-19 testing, and immunization programs that also redirect staff efforts from student learning and support. The divergent views held by staff, students, and community members on health safety measures complicate this work incredibly. There never seems to be an easy, correct, or universally accepted answer to the actions that our members take each day.

The NJASA officers, staff, and I are deeply grateful for what you do, and we devote our work to support your efforts. The NJASA mission statement references the importance of this work, ...maximize the capacity and effectiveness of school leaders through professional development and support. And one of our underpinning beliefs is that “NJASA members are leadership development professionals who facilitate professional growth and empowerment of others.”  At the heart of our Association is the strength and dedication of our members who choose to associate with each other for the fundamental purpose of improving the lives of the students we educate and the communities we serve. 

The NJASA leadership gratefully acknowledges the generosity of our members who have offered their time, knowledge, expertise, experience, and insights over this past year to serve as officers, committee members, mentors, and presenters for our professional learning experiences. We are most appreciative of your support and, more than ever, look forward to connecting with you in the year to come! As the adage notes: Many hands make light work!

Rest assured that every member of the NJASA staff remains committed to supporting your work! We wish you and your family good health and happiness throughout the New Year!