West Orange Welcomes New Elementary School Principal

By Dawn M. Chiossi
Makeida Estupinan (formally Hewitt) has started a new adventure as
principal of Gregory Elementary School in West Orange.
Approved on July 16 by the Board Of Education, Estupinan took over for retiring former Principal Michelle Thompson on September 1 st .
Estupinan is not exactly brand new to Gregory Elementary or the
dynamics of the school. As the former assistant principal and Anti
Bullying Coordinator at Gregory Elementary, she’s a natural,
comfortable fit for principal.
With an impressive 13 years of experience behind her, Estupinan’s
background consists of a multitude of subjects such as political science, elementary education and educational leadership.
Estupinan enthusiastically brings her vast skills such as coach,
supervisor, and assistant principal to her new position.
The fact that she is already familiar with the school, the day-to day
doings, and has a natural rapport with the students, faculty, parents
and community is a genuine asset to the job.
According to Jeffery Ratzky, Superintendent of Schools, “Estupinan was chosen because she was a principal who would continue Mrs.
Thompson’s excellence in educational leadership, working
collaboratively with parents, guardians and staff as well as bringing her new ideas to the school community.”
Thrilled with the honor, Estupian says, “I am so excited to have been
selected as Gregory Elementary new principal.”
Estupinan, who had worked with Thompson since 2015 as assistant
principal for three years, has nothing but good things to say about both Thompson, and the community at large.
“It was wonderful supporting Michelle at Gregory,” Estupinan says.
“The staff and parents are wonderful.”

With more than 500 students, West Orange’s Gregory Elementary
School is a highly rated elementary school focusing on students in
kindergarten through fifth.
This school community inspires and encourages their students. With a learning environment that enhances the whole child, from the
intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development, the students gain a well-rounded education.
Even the curriculum is equally well rounded, teaching fine arts, math,
and technology with equal passion. At Gregory Elementary, they
believe that school subjects are only part of learning for their students.
Fostering a climate of positivity, self-confidence and self-esteem,
educators there embrace the mission statement and theme of “Helping all to succeed.”
Fitting right in with that philosophy, Estupinan states “I hope to
continue to make a positive impact in our school community. I aspire to build a school culture that fosters mutual respect, kindness and
equality for each and every student.”

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