Two Ocean City School District principals have joined the growing list of educators from the district recognized for excellence this year, according to a school district press release.
Ocean City High School Principal Matthew Jamison has been named one of the 2017-18 Visionary Leaders of the Year by the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA) and the New Jersey Principal of the Year by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).
In addition, Ocean City Intermediate School Principal Geoffrey Haines has been selected as the winner of the 2018 AtlantiCare Healthy Educator Award.
In announcing Jamison as a New Jersey Secondary Visionary Leader, NJPSA praised Jamison’s implementation of Professional Learning Communities in Ocean City High School (OCHS) years before their inclusion in AchieveNJ teacher evaluation.
Jamison has enabled the faculty at OCHS to revise standards, establish common sense assessments and develop assessment guides through curriculum. His leadership in this area has made Ocean City High School a model school for creating Student Growth Objectives; the school is being studied by Rutgers University for its work in this area, according to the release.
Jamison has also co-developed the NJ School Choice programs offered at the high school and led the expansion of dual credit opportunities for students, the expansion of the Freshman Transition Program to include mentoring and career paths, open enrollment in Advanced Placement courses with additional faculty and student support, and a transformed Master Schedule to better afford teachers and students time for more rigorous and immersive learning experiences, the release states.
Haines won the Healthy Educator Award through AtlantiCare’s Healthy Schools, Healthy Children initiative for his efforts to instill healthy behaviors and attitudes in the Intermediate School’s student and staff populations. He has helped initiate Mindful Mondays at the school, during which the entire student body takes time to breathe and meditate at the start of the school day.
For both students and staff, Haines has led the introduction of yoga, which is supported by a Sustainable Jersey for Schools Health and Wellness Grant. With its Sustainable Jersey funding, the Ocean City Intermediate School (OCIS) has started offering after-school yoga lessons to students in fourth through eighth grades. The yoga equipment purchased with this funding also benefits teachers and staff during yoga sessions on in-service days, according to the release.
The school’s yoga program, in addition to its outdoor garden, have helped it secure a Sustainable Jersey for Schools Bronze Certification. This program recognizes schools and school districts for their positive efforts to improve environmental sustainability and overall health and wellness within the school community.
“Both Dr. Jamison and Mr. Haines have a transformational leadership style that inspires students, parents, faculty and other stakeholders to participate in finding innovative ways to make our schools even better,” said Ocean City School District Superintendent Kathleen Taylor. “Both are truly deserving of recognition. As a district, we celebrate these principals and the fact that these awards highlight the highly effective educators and schools right here in Ocean City.”
Jamison and Haines are just two of the leaders from the Ocean City School District to receive awards this year. Taylor was named 2018 Superintendent of the Year by the New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA), and American Sign Language teacher Amy Andersen is the 2017-18 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year and one of four finalists for the 2018 National Teacher of the Year.
In addition, OCHS junior Nora Faverzani was elected as a New Jersey Association of Student Councils (NJASC) state officer and will serve as the single State School Board of Education Student Representative for the 2018-2019 school year. Jamison will receive his NJPSA Visionary Award at the organization’s Fall Conference in October.
The award comes with a $7,000 grant for Ocean City High School, which the school will use to support the technology infrastructure in its newly developed Holocaust/Genocide Studies course. OCHS will begin offering this dual-credit program with Stockton University in Fall 2018. All resources, including the college resources, will be online, making technology a fundamental part of the course.
Haines will receive his Healthy Educator Award at a ceremony on April 18. His recognition comes with $600 to support a healthy initiative at his school. He plans to use the stipend to support the school’s edible garden to produce fruits and vegetables for use in the Family and Consumer Science classes and the school’s cafeteria.