Department of Education Announces Members of Statewide Advisory Committee to Guide Teacher Evaluation Pilot Program

Stakeholders will meet throughout the year to advise the Department and make recommendations on new statewide evaluation system

For Immediate Release Contact: Justin Barra
   Allison Kobus
Date: September 23, 2011 609-292-1126

Trenton, NJ – Furthering its commitment to partnering with educators in the development of a new statewide teacher evaluation system, the Department of Education today announced 21 members of the Evaluation Pilot Advisory Committee (EPAC) that will advise the department on the teacher evaluation pilot program over the course of the 2011-12 school year.  Composed of education stakeholders from across the state, the EPAC will be responsible for providing guidance throughout the pilot.  The group will also produce a recommendation for statewide rollout of a new teacher evaluation system.  Additional EPAC members representing all participating pilot districts and persistently low performing districts that have received federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) funds to implement change, will be added to the committee in the coming weeks.

Earlier this month, the department announced the 10 districts selected to participate in the Excellent Educators for New Jersey (EE4NJ) teacher evaluation pilot program over the course of the 2011-12 school year, pending final review procedures.  The pilot districts were selected from among 31 applicants and will split $1.1 million in grant funds made available by the state. An eleventh district, Newark, will participate in the pilot through a separate grant.  School Improvement Grant (SIG) schools and districts will also take part in the program with their federal funds.  Pilot districts will help to shape the new system, providing critical input and feedback prior to statewide roll-out.  

"This pilot is an opportunity to work with educators across the state to develop a fair and meaningful evaluation system that will treat teachers like the professionals they are.  And, the voice of educators is a crucial component in this development," Acting Education Commissioner Chris Cerf said. "The Evaluation Pilot Advisory Committee is another opportunity to ensure that we are working with educators from across the state as we create a better system."

The EPAC represents teachers of various subjects and grade levels; principals, superintendents, a special education supervisor and other administrators; parents; private, charter, and vocational schools; and the higher education community.  In addition, the EPAC will include one representative of each district participating in the pilot.  The NJDOE solicited nominations for EPAC members from major stakeholder groups, and selected a group of members representing a diverse cross-section of the New Jersey education landscape.  EPAC meetings will be held monthly at the NJDOE in Trenton, with the first meeting held today.

The following education professionals and other stakeholder groups are represented on the EPAC:

  • Teachers (5)
  • Superintendents (2)
  • Principals (3)
  • Central office/SIG (2)
  • Special Education Supervisor (1)
  • Higher education (2)
  • School boards (1)
  • State board (1)
  • Vocational schools (1)
  • Parents (1)
  • Non-public schools (1)
  • Charter schools (1)

At the local level, each district will convene a District Evaluation Pilot Advisory Committee (DEPAC).  These committees will consist of district educators and other individuals representing important stakeholders in the evaluation system and school community.    Each DEPAC must appoint one of these members to also serve on the state EPAC and attend monthly meetings at the NJDOE.  In addition, SIG districts will also send representatives to participate in the EPAC.  This will ensure that district-level concerns are raised with the state group and that districts will receive information shared at the state-level meetings.

"Because teaching is an honored craft, we must ensure that we recognize and respect effective educators, support teachers in their efforts to continue to develop their skills, and ensure that those comparatively few individuals who are unable to improve no longer remain in the classroom," said Acting Commissioner Cerf.  "This advisory committee will help to ensure that we fulfill this promise as we work to develop a new statewide evaluation system."

A full list of EPAC members is below: 

Ms. Marie Bilik
Executive Director, New Jersey School Boards Association

Mr. Carl Blanchard
National Board Certified Teacher
Biology Teacher, Franklin High School

Ms. Jeanne Delcolle
Burlington County Teacher of the Year
History Teacher, Burlington County Institute of Technology

Ms. Patricia Donaghue
Parent, Toms River, NJ

Ms. Carol Everett
Executive Director, New Jersey Association of Independent Schools

Dr. Dorothy Feola
President, New Jersey Association of Colleges for Teacher Education; Associate Dean, College of Education, William Paterson University

Ms. Darleen Gearhart
Director, School Improvement Grants, Newark Public Schools

Mr. Timothy Matheny
Principal, South Brunswick High School

Ms. Eileen Matus
Retired Principal, Toms River Regional School District

Ms. Elizabeth Morgan
National Board Certified Teacher
English Language Arts Teacher, Ann A. Mullen Middle School

Dr. Brian Osbourne
Superintendent, South Orange-Maplewood Schools

Mr. Richard Panicucci
Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum - Vo-Tech, Bergen County Technical Schools/Special Services

Ms. Meredith Pennotti
Principal, Red Bank Charter School

Ms. Judith Rattner
Superintendent, Berkeley Heights Public Schools

Dr. Vivian Rodriguez
Assistant Superintendent, Perth Amboy School District

Dr. Sharon Sherman
Dean, School of Education, Rider University

Ms. Peggy Stewart
Chair, Professional Teaching Standards Board
History Teacher, Center for Teaching and Learning

Ms. Belinda Stokes
Principal, Henry Snyder High School

Dr. Dorothy Strickland
New Jersey State Board of Education
Samuel DeWitt Proctor Professor of Education, State of New Jersey Professor of Reading, Emerita, Rutgers University

Mr. Bruce Taterka
U.S. Teaching Ambassador Fellow
Lead Teacher of Science and Technology, West Morris Mendham High School

Ms. Patricia Wright
Consultant; Retired Superintendent/Principal; Spring Lake