SOUTH BRUNSWICK: Gonzales has new role

The school year of 2013-2014 welcomed its newest assistant principal, April Gonzalez.

By Mahathi Ayyagari, Sopohomore, Viking Vibe Staff
The school year of 2013-2014 welcomed its newest assistant principal, April Gonzalez.
   After 47 years in the district (27 of them as an educator at SBHS), Ms. Gonzalez said that she is professionally ready for her new role as assistant principal.
   She attended South Brunswick schools as a student, then returned to work for the district as a student teacher, an English teacher, and then as English and Social Studies Department Supervisor.
   ”There are many facets to the job” said Ms. Gonzalez with regard to the role of an assistant principal, “Mainly it is supporting the principal, working with fellow administrators to ensure that our students are exposed to the best learning opportunities, and helping them to explore their strengths in classes that are taught by talented teachers.”
   When she first learned of her new position in May 2013, Ms. Gonzalez was “honored” and “privileged” that she could continue to serve in her community.
   Not only did she complete her NJ Excel certification program, but also Ms. Gonzalez said she knew that she was ready for a change and a challenge in the “district that [she] loves and that has been a place that has nurtured [her] growth.”
   Principal Mr. Peter Varela said that Ms. Gonzalez, in her new role, “will complement and make the administrative team stronger.”
   ”She brings a wealth of experience, both in class and in administration, to the team,” he said. “She understands course standards and as we transition to the PARCC assessment system, she will be able to lead the students and teachers as we transition to a new system of assessments.”
   Ms. Gonzalez said she is most excited about having a greater connection to students, but at the same time, she is concerned about time management.
   She said that having experience in curriculum and professional development from being a supervisor is definitely “training that is transferable” to the position of assistant principal.
   ”I never stopped seeing myself as a teacher. I still miss the classroom, but I love supervising and what I’m doing now,” she said. “As a teacher, you have a passion for subject matter and helping students grow, but it doesn’t stop there. In fact, passion for teaching and learning, since they go hand in hand, is what fuels me and gives me my energy to do what I’m doing now on a daily basis.”
   Ms. Gonzalez said she hopes to continue the good work of SBHS, academically, musically, and athletically.
   But since there is room for improvement, and “we are in an era of change”, Ms. Gonzalez also said she hopes to work with the principal, staff, and students to see SBHS through the change successfully.
   ”I have known Ms. Gonzalez for 23 years and we even taught the same classes in the ‘90’s,” English teacher Mr. Mark Ziminski said. “She is an outstanding teacher and an effective communicator. Students love her as a teacher. She has a great personality and as a classroom instructor, she knows the most important fact, which is educating students.”
   In addition, Ms. Gonzalez is part of national committees that specialize in English and Social Studies, and she is active in the NJ Principals and Supervisors Association, (NJPSA) so now she is able to contribute to all departments.