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Priscilla Church is a 43-year veteran of education. She began her career at the high school level teaching in the Perth Amboy and Brick Township school districts for 27 years. During this time, she also served as an Adjunct Professor for the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service which provided adult education in areas of Family Life, Finance and Nutrition. In addition, she co-hosted a bi-weekly cable television show while writing articles for local Jersey Shore newspapers on consumer-related issues. During her tenure in teaching, she assumed many school and district roles as a staff developer for equity and diversity issues; as a class advisor; and as the advisor for the National Honor Society at Brick Memorial High School.
Priscilla began her administrative career in 1997 after being promoted to vice principal of the Drum Point Elementary School in Brick. In this setting she was mentored as the primary evaluator for professional staff members in a grade 1-5 school setting which accommodated the district’s Special Education program for all learning needs. Within two years she moved on to a principal’s position for a K-8 elementary school in Mountainside and eventually found her administrative home in Fort Lee, in 2003, where she served as the principal of Elementary School 2, Fort Lee High School and the Director of Special Services.
Her experiences have encompassed all facets of the educational process. She has been the instructional leader at various school and district levels for over 16 years. Her responsibilities included evaluation of instructional and paraprofessional staff; programming and daily operation of the school facilities; professional developer at the building and district level; administrative team activist for research and development of ongoing district curricular needs; and facilitator for site-based management teams to maintain an awareness of school climate for the purpose of continuing to improve the school culture.
In her role as an educator, Priscilla was committed to a model of data-driven decision making for goal setting purposes which increased State test performance by 33% in her first year of implementation at Fort Lee High School. This data-driven model also facilitated program decisions in support of increased student success in other areas such as: freshman studies, AP and International Baccalaureate performance, writing and financial literacy course development and alternate school programing for at-risk students.
As the Director of Special Services, she supervised a 25-member Child Study Team; maintained department compliance within state and federal law guidelines; monitored and developed procedures for school-based CST activities; and facilitated the development of “The Learning Center @ School 2” for preschool and students with autism and a program called “Career Pathways” for Special Education high school students, which offered a transitional protocol for students with autism.
Priscilla has always maintained a commitment as a lifelong learner in order to stay current of educational trends that could be transitioned to staff in support of improved student learning. Her passion for her craft has motivated her to take a hands-on approach to leadership. She maintains an adjunct staff position at Seton Hall University where she supervises senior students who are joining the profession through their student teaching experience.
She and her husband Jay have lived in Montclair for 30 years. They have devoted years of service to the community through her tenure on the Civil Rights Commission and his participation as a Commissioner on the Parking Authority and the Board of Adjustment.
As a recently retired educator, Priscilla is hoping to contribute her expertise and experiences to support the Montclair Public School District’s goals and provide advocacy to ensure that all students benefit from an excellence in education philosophy which the residents of Montclair expect.