Hillsborough: Sunnymead Elementary School Principal Honored by Colleagues

Dr. Tammy Bowling Jenkins with fourth-grader Jenne Scarpa at Sunnymeade School. Credits: Kia Bergman
Second-grade teacher Michele Jones, left, nominated Dr. Tammy Bowling Jenkins for the state and national honors. Credits: Sandra Choe
From left, Gregory Gillete, Dr. Tammy Bowling Jenkins and Dr. Jorden Schiff, Hillsborough Schools superintendent. Credits: Kia Bergman

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - Dr. Tammy Bowling-Jenkins, principal of Sunnymead Elementary School has beeb named the 2017 Visionary Principal of the Year (Elementary Level) by the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association.

She was also  selected as the National Association of Elementary School Principals National Distinguished
Principal of the Year. 
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Each year the NJPSA recognizes leadership excellence with its  Visionary Leadership Awards. A review committee meets and evaluates each nominated principal based on a rubric that takes into consideration applicant’s transformation achievements at his/her school as well as each individual’s dedication to students and staff, and the principal’s well established ties to the school community.

Once selected, a school site visit is also conducted by the committee chair.

The NJPSA award recipient (when eligible) becomes the New Jersey nominee for the National
Distinguished Principal of the Year given by the NAESP. 
“A true leader coaches instead of demands from her staff,” said Michele K. Jones, secondgr ade teacher at Sunnymead Elementary School and also the staff member who nominated Jenkins for this honor. “Dr. Jenkins helps develop the strengths from all of her staff while helping improve their weakness.”

Sunnymead Elementary School is home to over 425 students in pre-kindergarten through fourth grade. Jenkins has been at Sunnymead for 13 years. ​Out of the nine schools in the Hillsborough district, Sunnymead has the highest percentage of students living at or near the poverty level. Despite this challenge, Sunnymead’s students typically perform at the highlest levels in the district.

In addition, through creative scheduling and staffing, Jenkins has created an opportunity for students to receive timely, targeted intervention and/or enrichment every day without disrupting or impacting core subjects.
“What I need!” is a chant you will hear often by students at Sunnymead School. WIN (What I Need) is an initiative  put in place about six years ago.  W.I.N. is an “all hands on deck” approach to intervention and enhancement. This  model  ensures that  every student in the school gets specific, small group instruction based on what an individual student needs, whether it be
writing, reading, or math skills.

Each Sunnymead teacher leads a small group of students as they work on the skills they need to improve. Students who have met their current personal goals are provided opportunities to engage in learning experiences that  enhance or extend their learning. 
 By simply walking in the door, students, staff and parents can feel that Sunnymead is an open,
inviting, and supportive place to be. Every Sunnymead staff member takes responsibility for the
learning of all students; they are driven by the idea that no single teacher can meet the needs of a student--a team of educators is needed to address student learning needs. 
“​Through the years that I have worked with Dr. Jenkins on a wide variety of programs and events, she has continued to demonstrate a genuine concern and progressive mindset in providing our children a safe, stabilized, and supportive educational program,” said Natalie Genovese, ​a Sunnymead School parent​. 

“Her distinctive leadership skills coupled with her faculty and school staff demonstrate a level of perseverance that has prepared and guided the students of Sunnymead to be fully prepared for the move on to the next level of education while having fun and truly enjoying their learning experience.  We are so very blessed to have her as such an integral part of our children's lives,” she added.
“Dr. Jenkins leads the Sunnymead community with a positive spirit and and a steadfast belief
that each child will reach their full potential with the support of a strong school community of
teachers, parents, parents behind them,” said Dr. Jorden Schiff, superintendent of Hillsborough Township Public Schools. “Dr. Jenkins is an integral part of creating that support structure for Sunnymead students.”
As Elementary School Principal of the Year, Jenkins will receive $7,000 for Sunnymead School and a $1,000 personal award.  Jenkins will formally be awarded at the NJSPA/FEA/NJASCD Fall Conference Oct.19-20, 2017, in Long Branch.

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