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Singleton Becomes “Principal for a Day” at Maple Shade Elementary School

Assemblyman Shadows Howard Yocum Elementary Principal to Get First-Hand Glimpse of Challenges Facing School Administrators

Assemblyman Troy Singleton learned firsthand what it’s like to step into the shoes of a school principal for the day when he shadowed Howard Yocum Elementary School Principal Beth Norcia in Maple Shade on Friday.

Singleton partnered with the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association to get a first-hand glimpse of the duties principals perform on a normal school day in an effort to gain a better understanding of the challenges and rewards that come along with overseeing a kindergarten through second grade elementary school.

“This was definitely an eye-opening experience and one I won’t easily forget,” said Singleton (D-Burlington). “So much has changed since I went to school. Principals have always had to be proficient multi-taskers, but in today’s education environment, that’s taken to a whole new level. I have great admiration for the challenges they face day in and day out. I hope to take this experience back to Trenton with me to help address some of the pressing issues facing our schools today.”

“I’d like to thank Assemblyman Singleton for visiting Howard Yocum Elementary School to see what life is like for a New Jersey school principal in 2014,” said Patricia Wright, Executive Director of the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association. “As a member of the Education Committee, the Assemblyman frequently hears testimony from many perspectives on a variety of educational issues, but there is no substitute for an in-person visit to a school to witness first-hand the duties and responsibilities of today’s school leaders and the effect that an outstanding principal like Beth Norcia can have on teachers, students, parents and the community. I am hopeful that this experience will further clarify why the support of our educational leaders from our representatives in Trenton is so important.”

Singleton welcomed the opportunity to shadow Principal Norcia, a veteran of the Maple Shade school district with over 17 years experience serving as a 2-8 grade teacher, a vice-principal at Maple Shade Junior/Senior High School and principal of Maude Wilkins Elementary School for the 5 years prior to coming to Yocum Elementary. Her teaching at the middle school level (7-8 grade) was primarily focused on mathematics.

“I believe that all students can learn. My goal as the principal of Howard Yocum Elementary is to provide a safe, nurturing environment for active learners, where all are valued and appreciated for what they can bring to the classroom, school and community. In this atmosphere, we will focus on the highest potential of each student and will foster an enthusiasm for life-long learning,” said Norcia in a letter to parents.

Previously, Singleton partnered with the New Jersey Education Association to shadow a teacher for the day at Hawthorne Elementary School in Willingboro.