Reflections from NJACTE’s President, Dr. Stacey Leftwich

As the end of another academic year draws to a close, this year is bittersweet.  Bitter because this message is the last blog I will write as NJACTE’s President, but sweet because I will not be far.  Meaning, as my term comes to an end, I will move to the Executive Committee as Past President.  This will give me an opportunity to continue to lend a helping hand to the association.  As I reflect on my final year, I am very proud of the work that we have accomplished together as an AACTE state affiliate.

Similar to last year’s reflection, a priority continues to be to have a better collaborative relationship with our state legislatures.  With the help of our consultants from Princeton Public Alliance Group, we were able to work with Governor Phil Murphy’s office to eliminate edTPA.  I cannot thank the edTPA Committee, led by Margarent Renn and Nora Hyland, enough for their diligence in making our association’s and EPPs’ voices heard. 

Another committee, whose dedication in getting our voice heard, is the Code Committee, led by Claudine Keenan and Linda Amrtigo.  This committee took Chapter 9 line by line and identified areas of concerns, which they presented to the NJDOE twice.  Although the hope was more movement on what was presented, we had a seat at the table to voice our association’s concerns.

Because of our voice, NJACTE was invited to serve and had two seats on the Governor’s Task Force to Help Address Public School Staff Shortage Across New Jersey.  With Amy Kline by my side, we voiced our concerns and recommendations to support Educator Preparation Programs in the state.  

Social justice remains of great importance and acknowledgements go out to the Social Justice Committee members, led by Jennifer Robinson.  The committee participated in reading the book Equity Talk, Equity Walk by Tia Brown McNair, Estela Maria Bensimon and Linsey Malcom-Piqueux.  Our goal was professional development to the membership and this goal will hopefully be expanded next year.  Thank you to the Executive Committee for funding the books for our reading, which provided the tools to continue our social justice work.  I will continue to serve on the committee to help with the planning and execution of our yearly event, the Convening for Diversifying the Teacher Workforce.  

In addition to a successful convening, one, which after 3 years, was finally back in person, we had two other very successful events this year, the Day of Assessment and the Distinguished Clinical Intern Award Ceremony.  Thank you to the Day of Assessment Committee led by Amy Kline and Jason Barr as well as the Clinical Intern Ceremony led by Tim Fredricks and Christine Borlan.

I am excited to welcome soon to be President Amy Kline to her new role and I hope my mentorship has provided her with the tools needed to continue the work and accomplishments of NJACTE into AY 2024.  I also hope that she will pay the mentoring she received forward as she welcomes LaChan Hannon to her new role as Treasurer-President Elect.  

I will end this last blog as president the way I began, no one can do this work alone and it takes a village.  I encourage all NJACTE members to get involved because the village will continue to need help to move priorities forward. Thank you for allowing me to use this platform to thank NJACTE for a great two years and for continuing to be my village!