Pictured here, left to right: Dr. G. Kennedy Greene, NJASA Past President and Chief Education Officer, Newton Public Schools; Mr. Mackey Pendergrast, Superintendent, Morris School District; Mr. David Trethaway, Superintendent, Manchester Township School District; Dr. David Aderhold, Superintendent, West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District; Dr. Scott R. Rocco, NJASA President, Chief Education Officer, Hamilton Township School District.


The New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA) has selected Mackey Pendergrast, Superintendent of the Morris School District, as the 2019 Regional Superintendent of the Year for Region I, North Jersey.  Mr. Pendergrast is one of three Regional winners; David Aderhold of West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District and David Trethaway of the Manchester Township School District are the Region II and III winners, respectively.


From the three regional winners, the NJASA will select one superintendent to represent the State of New Jersey as NJ Superintendent of the Year in the American Association of School Administrators’ 33rd National Superintendent of the Year Award, which recognizes and honors the extraordinary contributions of the nation’s leaders in public education.


Now in his fifth year as superintendent of the Morris School District, Pendergrast believes the distinction of Regional Superintendent of the Year is a reflection of “the tremendous investment this entire community has made in its public schools.”  “The tangible results our district has seen over the last several years in terms of student growth and achievement, innovative programming, and operational excellence are absolutely the product of a concerted dedication on the part of all stakeholders, both within and outside the district itself.  No superintendent can succeed in isolation, and I am extremely grateful to the community as a whole for its support, dialogue, and commitment to excellence in student learning and well-being.  This is what has enabled our students and our district to ascend.”


In June, Pendergrast was named Morris County Superintendent of the Year by his peers in the Morris County Association of School Administrators.  Following a detailed application process, the NJASA made the Regional Superintendent of the Year selections based on a number of leadership criteria, including meeting the needs of all students, strength in personal and organizational communication, a commitment to professional development and growth, and active community involvement.  


NJASA formally announced the selection of Mr. Pendergrast and his colleagues for Regional Superintendent of the Year at its Executive Committee meeting in Trenton last Thursday and will introduce the three winners to the State’s wider educational leadership community at the upcoming NJ School Boards Association Workshop in Atlantic City at the end of October.  The State Superintendent of the Year will be selected by a committee of NJASA Past Presidents and former Regional Superintendents of the Year by November 1. 


Morris School District Board of Education Vice President Nancy Bangiola called this latest distinction for Superintendent Pendergrast “well deserved, and an important indicator that influencers within the NJ public education scene are taking notice of our district and our accomplishments.”  She added that the Board “feels tremendous pride in our educational leader, and pride in the collaborative work we engage in to support him and his administration in this most consequential endeavor:  to provide exceptional learning experiences and opportunities for all of our students so that each one can ascend.”


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