BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - On October 1st, the Berkeley Heights Public School District welcomed a new Interim Superintendent, Dr. Richard Noonan. Dr. Noonan brings with him a rich history, having been involved in the field of education since 1972. Dr. Noonan made his love for the education system very apparent, stating, “I have a lifelong passion for education.” By coming here, he hopes to spread that passion.
After college, Dr. Noonan became a high school history teacher in Greenwich, Connecticut. He then went on to become a Principal in Greenwich, before getting his doctorate in Curriculum Teaching from the Teachers College of Columbia University. From there, Dr. Noonan became an Assistant Superintendent, and in 1993 began his work as a Superintendent. Dr. Noonan continued to serve as a Superintendent until he retired in 2015, but later decided that he was meant to remain in the education system for a bit longer. Dr. Noonan said, “I like keeping my hand in education.”
When he was a teacher, Dr. Noonan coached after school activities such as ice hockey, girls soccer, and wrestling. He also served as a student government advisor and, given his love for skiing, worked with ski clubs at his past schools. His decision to continue on in his rise to administrator stemmed from his love of being involved with the students and what they are passionate about.
Dr. Noonan has high hopes for his time with Berkeley Heights Public Schools, stating that he has made a pledge to himself to carry on the best practices, traditions, and customs of the district. Dr. Noonan said, “I want to make sure that our kids are engaged and are as actively involved as they can be.” He admires the high level of education in the district, and hopes to carry on the habit of strategic planning that the past superintendent Judith Rattner practiced. However, Dr. Noonan added that he would love to see the district be more unified as a whole. He offered an example of a district Facebook page, as opposed to separate schools operating their own social media accounts.
During mid-year elections, Dr. Noonan was involved in the campaign of a friend running for the House of Representatives. He is a large proponent of the power youth have in decision-making, and encourage young people to practice their rights.
A bright future awaits the Berkeley Heights School District as we welcome Dr. Noonan as our new Interim Superintendent of Schools.
Editor's Note: The Highlander section features articles written for The Highlander, Gov. Livingston High School's student newspaper.