BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - When Jaqueline Bartlett was hired as Assistant Principal of Governor Livingston High School at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, she transitioned from the classroom to an office. As a new administrator, she knew her goals would shift, too. Instead of making an impression on the lives of just the students in her classes, she would be able to make a greater impact on the lives of all the schools’ students.
For the last five years, Bartlett taught AP U.S. History I, American Studies and the leadership class elective. Bartlett explained, “When you’re teaching in a classroom, you have control over your students and helping to improve student learning within that room.”
Still, Bartlett wanted to impact more students. She went back to school for a Master’s in Administrative Leadership at Ramapo College in Mahwah, New Jersey.
The next step Bartlett took in reaching her goal was completing her internships. “At the end of grad school, I was lucky enough to start [as an administrative intern] at GL. I not only saw how a school functions, and how students learn, but also how much a team everyone in the administration and the teachers work together.” Bartlett emphasized the importance of teamwork as one of the most important factors of being an assistant principal.
Having already worked at the school, gave Bartlett an advantage. Tara Oliveria, Assistant Principal, said, “Mrs. Bartlett is doing an incredible job. As she was already familiar with the students and knew how to navigate the school, transitioning to the role of assistant principal has become seamless for her.”
Additionally, according to Robert Nixon, Principal, it helped having someone who taught here step into the position. “It has been valuable to have her insight from the classroom. When we have to make decisions, Jackie is able to provide the teacher’s perspective. We will often turn to her when it comes to understanding how administrative decisions could affect classroom instruction.”
As part of the administrative team, Bartlett works on a variety of tasks. One of the main areas that she works on is student testing. Bartlett is responsible for standardized testing, planning and executing the administration of the PSAT, NJSLA, and Pre-ACT.
In addition, she is in charge of facilities, both internally and for community organizations. By managing the program that bridges GL and Berkeley Heights together, Bartlett is able to ensure everyone feels welcome at GL.
Throughout the day, Bartlett tries to connect with new and returning students. “I like to go out of my office during lunch when everyone is in different spots of the building and just say hi to everyone.” It is important for her to maintain a presence around the school.
Even though Bartlett has just begun her administrative career, she already has a primary goal: improving the social and emotional health of students. To that end, she is a strong supporter of the Wellness Room. “I hope that the Wellness Center and the workshops will help. ”Mrs. Bartlett has spearheaded the Wellness Workshop initiative, which bring an additional support to staff and students - as topics such as mindfulness and stress reduction are explored with the support of a trained mindfulness professional. She believes it is important for students to know that it is normal to “need a minute” during a busy day or time of year.
Bartlett plans to use her training to focus on the students and their success, making that impact felt at Governor Livingston.