Office of the Superintendent
Dr. Penny E. MacCormack
Dr. Penny E. MacCormack
Dr. Penny E. MacCormack takes the helm at Montclair Public Schools. Her first day was November 1. You can reach Dr. MacCormack by email, or by phone at 973-509-4010. Read about Dr. MacCormack’s Plan of Entry by clicking here.
About Dr. MacCormack
Dr. Penny MacCormack has worked in education for more than 20 years. She has held a number of leadership positions in both school districts and at the state level. Her approach to providing leadership in the field is shaped by the singular belief that effective educational leaders understand both the skills and the structures necessary for continuously improving learning at the classroom and school level as well as the reform strategies that foster innovation. Additionally, effective educational leaders must know how to optimize resource allocation and ensure that resources are allocated where they are needed most and where there will be the highest impact on learning.
Prior to her appointment as the Superintendent of Schools for the Montclair Public Schools system, Dr. MacCormack was Assistant Commissioner and Chief Academic Officer at the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE). At the NJDOE, she was responsible for facilitating the implementation of the Common Core State Standards in 600 school districts with over 1.3 million students. In this capacity, Dr. MacCormack developed strategies to assist school districts in preparing students to meet the new, more rigorous standards required by the Common Core State Standards. A significant achievement was the development of a “model” curriculum that included high quality formative assessments. Dr. MacCormack was also tasked with working with the state’s lowest performing schools and schools with the largest achievement gaps to improve performance and better serve the students at those schools.
Before joining the NJDOE, Dr. MacCormack was the Chief Academic Officer and Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Schools for the Hartford Public Schools in Connecticut. Hartford Public Schools is a district of 50 schools with over 22,000 students, 2,100 certificated staff, and an annual operating budget of $385 million. In her role as the Chief Academic Officer for Hartford, Dr. MacCormack led the development of a district-wide curriculum and professional development system including common formative assessments. During her tenure, the Hartford Public Schools experienced significant gains in student achievement at rates faster than any other district in the state and made significant progress in successfully closing student achievement gaps.
As Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools, Dr. MacCormack led the effort to help principals within the district improve instruction and assessment practices in order to raise student achievement in their schools. In addition, she was responsible for developing a pool of talented leaders prepared to take the lead in new school models as they were developed in the district.
While serving in Hartford, Dr. MacCormack garnered community support for competency-based graduation requirements and redesigned the process for allocating title funds so as to increase equity and target student achievement. She spearheaded the development of the district Strategic Operating Plan, defining the strategies and measures that resulted in the district meeting 85% of student achievement targets over four years.
Dr. MacCormack has also held positions as a classroom science teacher, dean of students, and high school and middle school principal.
Dr. MacCormack is a Broad Superintendent Academy Fellow. She has a doctoral degree in educational leadership from the University of Hartford, an MA from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, and a BS from the University of Connecticut. She has served as the board chair for Hartford Performs, was an adjunct professor at Southern Connecticut University and is currently an adjunct professor for Montclair State University’s Educational Leadership Programs.
Page Updated: Jun 18, 2014