Elementary Principal Appointed New District-Wide Curriculum Director
The 2012-2013 school year will mark the first time Mahwah has had the position in 10 years
Starting this September, Mahwah schools will have a new district-wide director of curriculum for the first time in 10 years. The board of education at its Wednesday meeting approved the appointment of Betsy Ross principal Christine Zimmermann to the position.
In her new job, Zimmermann will oversee pre-K through 12th grade curricula. Now, the district utilizes individual curriculum committees to plan district lessons. The position is part of the district’s effort to combat falling test scores at three of its schools. When the board approved the creation of the position earlier this year, school officials called a director of curriculum the “best possible thing” for Mahwah.
Zimmermann already has a lot of experience working in curriculum development for the district. She has been in Mahwah for the past seven years, six as the principal of Lenape Meadows and the past one as the principal at Betsy Ross. Over the past school year, she coordinated all elementary school curriculum in the district, and spearheaded an overhaul of the English curriculum to align it with the state’s new common core standards. Part of her new job will be to oversee the realignment of other subjects’ to match the new core.
The BR principal was one of five finalists up for the director of curriculum job.
“She is extremely hands on and committed to this,” Assistant Superintendent Janet Donohue said Wednesday when recommending Zimmermann to the board. “She is an incredible addition.” Interim Superintendent Dr. Karen Lake called her promotion a “very good move for the district.”
In addition to mapping out this year’s curriculum, Donohue said Zimmermann will also create a long-term plan that will “look at where we are now, and where we want to be in five years; what we should be doing, when and why.”
According to Donohue, Zimmermann will oversee the transition to new administration at Betsy Ross. Zimmermann will communicate directly with BR parents to explain her new position and its impacts on the school, Donohue said.
Last year, when Zimmermann moved to BR and took on the role overseeing elementary curriculum, Patch asked her why she felt the job was important. She said “ensuring continuity between Mahwah’s primary schools and between the changing levels of our schools is also important. We want to make sure that each subsequent grade’s curriculum builds meaningfully on what came before.”
The director of curriculum is one of nine new positions the board approved in its 2012-2013 budget. Some of the other new positions in the district include two first grade teachers at Lenape Meadows, a third grade teacher at Lenape, and a fifth grade teacher at Joyce Kilmer.