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Game-changers Ahead

Posted by on in Education Leadership
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Most readers know that I was a history teacher for nine years.  I loved every second of it.  My favorite area was covering elections; presidential elections were always very special.  This year is certainly no different, but the twists are more than a mystery novel.

If you asked the pundits and the ‘in-crowd’ if Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump would be the focal point of this election, you would be laughed at.  But… here we are. Two outsiders – two mavericks – two game changers.  Two very different people with very different beliefs, but none the less, two individuals that people are drawn to.  Why?  They are not from “the establishment”. They are not career politicians, they aren’t embedded in a political dynasty; they are running by their own rules, and don’t care what anyone says when it comes to how they are doing it.

The same can be said for several Superintendents in education today.  More and more, Boards of Education are sick and tired of getting the same ol’, same ol’.  Boards are becoming aggressive and courageous; boards are seeing that they need mavericks and folks willing to go rogue to put students first.

 You can argue there are pitfalls for this type of leader.  Many political pundits are saying that people love the songs Sanders and Trump are singing, but aren’t interpreting the lyrics.  Can the same be said about these types of Superintendents? Maybe?  I am proud to say that while there is a new breed of Superintendent (I call it Superintendent 3.0), and with these leaders comes an ingraining of values, pedagogy, and mantra of students first.

 Am I a Trump? No.  Am I a Sanders?  No.  Am I a Superintendent that is of a new blood and is doing things the Sinatra way for students.  Yep.


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Jay Eitner is a proud product of the New Jersey public schools. A graduate from Union High School in 1997, Jay attended The American University in Washington DC with a BA in interdisciplinary studies. He began his teaching career in Roselle, NJ teaching a variety of subjects including social studies, computers, and digital literacy. Known for being ‘outside of the box’ and for strong technology infusion, Eitner strived to make a learning environment that was student centered, data driven, and technology infused. Jay received his Masters Degree from Kean University in 2004 and was hired to teach 8th grade social studies in the nationally recognized East Brunswick Public Schools. During his time in East Brunswick, Eitner has written & received over $140,000 in grants for his students. Grants ranged from podcasting equipment to creating a fully-interactive gold-rush experience, where students dug for gold during their westward expansion unit. Jay obtained his supervisor, principal, and school administrator certificates from the NJPSA NJ-EXCEL program in 2009. Administratively, Eitner has served as a middle school Assistant Principal in the Washington Township Schools , a K-12 Supervisor of Social Studies in the Hopewell Valley Regional School District, and a Superintendent of the Lower Alloways Creek School District. Jay currently serves as a Superintendent of Schools for the Waterford Township School District. He has presented a series of workshops on digital leadership, technology infusion, and student achievement. Recent awards include the 2015 national Educators Voice Award in the category of Superintendent, the White House MakerSpace distinction, and named to the national Academy of Arts & Sciences as a 2016 Educator To Watch.

Jay currently resides in Mount Laurel, New Jersey and is a proud Dad of twin girls and his puppy Lola.

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Guest Sunday, 17 February 2019