Reflections from NJACTE’s President, Dr. Stacey Leftwich

As the end of the academic year draws to a close, I am grateful for a successful first term as NJACTE’s president.  A priority this year was to have a better collaborative relationship with our state legislatures.  The year began when members from NJACTE met with Senator Vin Gopal to discuss the association’s priorities.  During AACTE’s 2022 Washington Week, Brandi Warren and I met with representatives from Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez’s offices.  Our discussions helped the senators’ staffers realize our tasks ahead and I am hopeful that we are moving the association in the right direction to form better relationships with state and federal legislatures.  

Another priority this year was continuing to make social justice a matter of great importance.  NJACTE implemented a Social Justice Committee and the committee members have been very active in their professional development as well as creating statements on behalf of NJACTE to show where the association stands on anti-racism, social justice and equity.

A final priority this year was continuing to think of ways to reduce the barriers to the teacher shortage. Our work with the Senate Education Committee has given the association an opportunity to provide EPPs take on the use of edTPA and where we stand on this subject as a certification requirement.  Although there is more work to be done, at least we are a part of the conversation.  

We had three very successful events this year, the Convening for Diversifying the Teacher Workforce, the Day of Assessment and the Distinguished Clinical Intern Award Ceremony.  These events are not only ways to provide professional development to our members and colleagues across the state, but an opportunity to acknowledge some of our future educators and welcome them into the profession.

We say goodbye to our Past President, Dr. John Henning, who made the decision to retire at the end of the year.  Dr. Henning has been a great mentor, colleague and friend.  He has given so much of himself to the association and I like to use this platform to thank him and wish him a happy retirement!

I look forward to next year to continue the work we started this year.  More importantly, I want to use this platform to thank NJACTE’s membership for sharing in this work and helping to move our priorities forward as well as for all the support that was given during my first term.

Submitted by Dr. Stacey Leftwich, NJACTE President