By Anastasia Marchese
Michael Wasko is not a stranger to the field of school administration in Hanover Township. This is, however, his first September as the superintendent of schools.
Prior to July of this year, Wasko served as the principal of the Memorial Junior School from January 2002 until he took on the superintendent position starting July 1. Prior to that, he served as the assistant principal of the Memorial Junior School, from the spring of 1998 until he became the school’s principal.
“This is a great district, with an extremely supportive board of education,” commented Wasko, when asked about working as an administrator in the Hanover district for the past 18 years.
“A Community That Inspires Excellence,” is our district’s vision statement, and what we continue to build on,” he says.
Wasko is working with the Board of education to achieve this year’s district goals. One of the four main goals is to, “Continue to enrich the learning experiences of Hanover Township students through the expanded use of digital learning.”
In light of this the district has purchased 55 new teacher laptop computers, 65 new Epson digital projectors, and new 200 Chromebooks for student use in addition to 40 new I-pads. Providing more access to the internet enables the teachers to take advantage of the web based components that are part of many new textbooks and curriculums.
The district is also using Google Apps for Education, which help the teachers, students, and administration work better together. Teachers implement the use of Google Classroom to help “teachers save time, keep classes organized, and improve communication with students,” according to the Google Classroom website.
Another of the district goals is to “implement the “Next Generation” Science Standards (NGSS) in grades six to eight and plan for the implementation of the NGSS at the elementary level during the 2017-2018 school year.”
In order to work towards this goal the district has purchased new curriculum in the areas of math, science, character education and world languages. This will help the teachers “achieve the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards and Common Core State Standards’ as laid out in the district’s mission statement.
Along with the curriculum and standards of the school, facility issues also needed to be addressed this summer, which entailed conducting “a district wide facilities review to identify specific areas in need of improvement and to ensure that all facilities continue to meet the needs of the district.” This led to the completion of air conditioning being installed in all elementary schools. Also roof repairs were done to the Memorial Junior School and a new intercom system was installed in one of the elementary schools. The Bee Meadow School is undergoing construction of a blacktop playground area as well.
Another exciting aspect of this upcoming year for Wasko, is the introduction of 19 new teachers to the four schools in the district. That means that many of the district’s 1,400 students will be meeting new faces this September.
Since Wasko moved into the superintendent position, that left the position of principal of the Memorial Junior School vacant. Wasko is very pleased that Michael Anderson moved into the position on July 1, when Wasko assumed his new responsibilities. Anderson had been a social studies teacher in the district for 16 years. He also served as the interim assistant principal at the Memorial Junior School in 2016 and is well prepared to face the challenges of being principal.
Wasko is looking forward to a productive and rewarding year as the district superintendent, and to working with the new staff to help each student to have access to “excellent and innovative academic, athletic and artistic experiences,” as is laid out in the district mission statement.