SUMMIT, NJ - Pamela Southard has been selected as the new Principal of The Summit Primary Centers at Jefferson and Wilson. Southard, who will officially begin her role on July 1, will succeed current Primary Centers principal, Janice Tierney, who was named Principal of Franklin Elementary School effective the same date.
The Summit Board of Education is expected to approve the recommendation of Superintendent of Schools June Chang and formally hire Southard at its June 14 meeting.
Southard has worked for the Flemington-Raritan Regional School District for 13 years, teaching Kindergarten and third grade and most recently having served as a grades K-4 Reading and Math Support Skills teacher. In that role, she guided and supported multiple teachers throughout the school, helping them to implement effective instructional strategies.
She has collaborated with colleagues to write curriculum, to pilot new programs, and to create after-school opportunities such as a literacy club. Southard has advanced training in Responsive Classroom and Cooperative Learning, both of which impact student behavior and motivation positively.
According to the press release issued by the Summit Public Schools announcing her hire, "Southard values relationships with students, their families, and the community. In her research and instructional programming experience, she has gathered and analyzed data to make informed decisions. She is focused on increasing student achievement for all of our young scholars."
Working as an administrative intern, Southard trained staff to administer early childhood assessments, as well as participated in many I&RS and Child Study Team meetings. She served on a district security team to develop detailed safety action plans. Additionally, she coordinated professional development opportunities in a technology-based workshop series, with the goal of coaching teachers to become instructional leaders.
She was elected to attend the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy, which equips educators to prepare and inspire students to learn about math and science in innovative ways. According to the Summit Public Schools, Southard "looks forward to bringing STEAM initiatives to The Summit Primary Centers."
“It was apparent to me and the members of the search committee that Ms. Southard is a dedicated, student-centered early childhood educator. She has spent her entire career in education focused on providing the best possible learning experiences for our youngest learners. Her numerous leadership experiences, her caring and thoughtful approach, and her desire to innovate makes her an excellent fit to be the next leader of The Summit Primary Centers,” said Superintendent Chang.
Southard earned a BA in Economics and German, as well as a MA in Education from Rutgers University. She holds a second Masters degree in Educational Leadership from Montclair State University.