New Jersey Department of Education

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For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Jon Zlock
    Kathryn Forsyth, Director

For Release : October 24, 2005

Gov. Codey, DOE Announce Governor’s Schools of Excellence Award Winners

Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey and the Department of Education today announced the 22 schools named 2005 Governor’s Schools of Excellence Award winners for the significant efforts they have made to improve over the course of two school years.

“These schools have shown they can give their children the best opportunities to succeed because of their marked improvement,” said acting Gov. Codey.  “They wanted to get better, and it’s no doubt their students benefited as a result.”

In its third year, the Governor’s Schools of Excellence Awards Program recognizes schools that show significant promise and meet five of nine criteria for two consecutive academic years.  Each winner receives a $25,000 award and will be recognized at the Governor’s Schools of Excellence banquet in November.

 “These schools are excellent examples of how we can prepare our students for a 21st century workplace,” acting Commissioner Lucille E. Davy said.  “We’re thrilled to announce these schools today.  We’re sure they will sustain their improvement and keep providing outstanding opportunities for their students.”

School representatives from the 22 winners have been invited to a reception on Tuesday, Nov. 22 at the Masonic Temple in Trenton to celebrate their award. The event begins at 11:30 a.m. and is open to the media.

The nine criteria considered are:

    • Outstanding growth in literacy measures;
    • Improved parental involvement in school matters;
    • Improved student attendance, graduation, and retention rates, and/or dropout reduction;
    • Fewer violence and vandalism incidents as demonstrated in the annual Violence and Vandalism report and other measures;
    • Creative and increased involvement with partnerships and/or the community;
    • Increased and creative use of technology as a tool for learning in a school’s curriculum;
    • Improved the quality of professional development of teachers;

Improved learning for special needs and/or specialized populations; and

Other category: this is an area where a school may submit documentation that shows areas of significant improvement that may not fit one of the criteria above.

Here are the 2005 winners: 

Washington Avenue Elementary School, Pleasantville School District:  An Abbott school in an urban district that sits outside the borders of Atlantic City, this school of approximately 330 students has demonstrated sustained and impressive growth in test scores at the fourth grade level over the last five years. For more information on the school:

Lincoln Elementary School, Hasbrouck Heights School District:  Despite struggling previously, the school now scores in the top 10 percent of schools in the entire state.  The most dramatic statistical gain occurred in mathematics where the percentage of the total population of students scoring advanced proficient more than doubled.  For more information:

Ridgefield Park Junior-Senior High School, Ridgefield Park School District:  Ridgefield Park Junior-Senior High School implemented new courses and refocused teacher efforts; this has led to an improved school.   For more information:

Peter Muschal Elementary School, Bordentown Regional School District:  The school has been able to increase fourth-grade scores in the proficient range in both mathematics and language arts, as well as significantly decrease the number of partially proficient students.  This has allowed the Peter Muschal Elementary School to meet and surpass the NCLB requirements. 
For more information:

Garfield East Elementary School, Willingboro School District:  Student achievement, as indicated by their test scores for the past four consecutive years, has improved dramatically.  For more information:

Dr. William Mennies Elementary School, Vineland School District:  Many students are at-risk; the school has improved by building a strong partnership of parents, teachers, and community. 
For more information:

Max Leuchter Elementary School, Vineland School District:  The school has the district’s highest number of transient students as well as a large number of families who are homeless. To address these issues, the school has created and sustained a strong partnership with the parents and the community.  For more information:

Holly Glen Elementary School, Monroe Township School District:  Over the past two academic years, there has been a significant improvement in academic achievement.  Specifically, early intervention, continual review of its curriculum, integration of technology and improved teaching techniques has been the key to its success.  For more information:

W.C.K. Walls Elementary School, Pitman School District:  The school has improved its language arts literacy and mathematics NJASK test scores, which is the direct result of focusing efforts on improving performance in language arts and math.  For more information:

Hurffville Elementary School, Washington Township School District:  The school has focused on improvement by stressing “building a better world, one student at a time.” 
For more information:

Washington Township High School, Washington Township School District:  Washington Township High School is the largest high school in South Jersey and the third largest high school in the state.  Student performance on the HSPA remain on the rise. 
For more information:

Phillip G. Vroom Elementary School, Bayonne Public Schools:  The school has been successful in turning things around and was able to close the achievement gap for its economically disadvantaged students.  Consequently, it was also removed from the federal NCLB list of schools that needed improvement. 
For more information:

Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School, Jersey City School District:  School has improved achievement in a district that is represented by 31 different languages.  For more information:

Jose Marti Middle School, Union City School District:  Formerly Christopher Columbus Middle School has exceeded expectations and received numerous accolades for its technology integration across the curriculum.  New standards-based assessments and programs, and a focused vision all figure prominently in promoting and sustaining the school’s goals are apparent.

Woodbrook Elementary School, Edison Township School District:  The school has been able to increase their performance levels on language arts and mathematics tests by always taking the time to recognize success and then raising the bar higher.  For more information:

John F. Kennedy Memorial High School, Woodbridge Township School District:  The school fosters an atmosphere that promotes students’ confidence as scholars and their importance as viable members of the community.  For more information:

Robert Mascenik Elementary School #26, Woodbridge Township School District: The school’s unique learning environment has resulted in significant improvement in language arts and mathematics test scores. 
For more information:

Marine Academy of Science and Technology, Monmouth County Vocational School District:  The school’s mission is to create literate, moral, productive members of society, who are empowered to meet the challenges of a global community and is realized though its unique approach to building a functional community. 
For more information:

Tinton Falls Middle School, Tinton Falls  School District:  Improvement in language arts literacy and mathematics test scores occurred because of the school’s plan designed to best identify and tailor their teaching to the unique needs of each child.  For more information:

Somerset  County
Bedminster Township School, Bedminster Township School District:  As a result of a dedicated effort to renew curricula, improve teaching and learning, enhance purposeful professional development, and acquire and retain high quality staff, its students emerged as performance leaders in all areas of literacy.  For more information:

Kittatiny Regional High School, Kittatinny Regional School District:  In order to assist their students in improving their GEPA and HSPA test scores, the school implemented a variety of programs that allowed their school to increase their test scores significantly.  For more information:

Nicholas Murray Butler Elementary School No. 23, Elizabeth School District:  A school in an urban district with low-income families, a high mobility rate and two-thirds of its families who do not speak English in the home, No. 23 has improved consistently on standardized tests.
For more information:

For more information, please contact the Department of Education Public Information Office at (609) 292-1126.