PHOTO: Henry Hudson Regional School principal, Mrs. Lenore Kingsmore.
HIGHLANDS, NJ - Henry Hudson Regional School (HHRS) is very proud to announce that Mrs. Lenore Kingsmore, principal, has been named recipient of the NJ Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA) Visionary Principal of the Year for Secondary Schools 2015-2016 and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) MetLife Principal of the Year 2016-2017! These distinct honors affirm her dedication and hard work over the past six years as principal of HHRS.
Henry Hudson Regional School is home to 300 students in grades 7th through 12th. When Mrs. Kingsmore began her tenure at HHRS, she had a very clear vision for the school and a mission for the students: she wanted to implement innovative programs, elevate educational standards and create a more inclusive, open-door atmosphere for students and their families.
According to Mrs. Kingsmore, “I believe my greatest achievement at Henry Hudson is the change in school culture and climate. When I joined the HHRS family, I saw right away that communication needed a facelift; little was ever shared with the two sending communities (Atlantic Highlands and Highlands) about all the wonderful classes and opportunities at Henry Hudson. Changing our image only happens when you open your doors and let parents and the community in; this continues to be my mission every day.”
Shortly after joining HHRS, Mrs. Kingsmore implemented a “school within a school” middle school program for her incoming 7th and 8th graders so that students would be separate, yet included, in the high school setting. This allows younger students to feel as though they are experiencing some elementary support, yet still enjoy all the amenities of a high school environment. The changes resulted in improved standardized test scores, attendance and discipline.
She has also worked hard to increase academic excellence within the high school programs. Her motto has always been “to provide a private school education in a public school setting” and is currently working to implement a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math (commonly referred to as STEAM) Academy, Fine Arts Academy and Communications & Broadcasting Academy, thanks to strategic partnerships with The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) and Monmouth University.
Since she began her role as principal, Mrs. Kingsmore has accomplished many goals, including:
- Improved Advanced Placement (AP) scores while expanding course offerings and encouraging more students to take these rigorous courses
- Built an award-winning band program, theatre arts program and hosts the Monmouth County Arts and Education Center for all the Middle Schools
- Developed a renowned therapy dog program that serves her special needs students, with amazing results
- Achieved accreditation for HHRS from The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
Other recent accolades that HHRS has seen under her guidance:
- the Varsity Girls' Softball Team won the Central Jersey Group 1 Championship
- the technology club won the NJ Coast IEEE Robotics Competition
- HHRS won first place honors for Broadcast News at the SkillsUSA competition in New Jersey
In tough times, true character shines through. During the devastation of Super Storm Sandy, well over 1,000 businesses and dwellings in Highlands, NJ were devastated by the storm and the doors of Henry Hudson Regional School were opened as a shelter for displaced residents and community members. Mrs. Kingsmore donated countless hours of service to help students, families and community members. This past summer, the mayor and city council recognized her and the school district for their dedication in support of the town during Super Storm Sandy.
Dr. Susan Compton, Superintendent, is thrilled to have Mrs. Kingsmore as part of her team, “I have been continually impressed with Mrs. Kingsmore’s driving commitment to educational excellence in everything she does for the staff and students. She is uncompromising in her quest for quality educational opportunities for “all children”. This truly has been her legacy here at Henry Hudson. In fact, the educational community acknowledges her as being the most “student-centered” principal that they have had in the 50+ year history of the school. She is sincerely concerned with the welfare and education of the children in our school district, and without a doubt, one of the most dedicated professionals that I have ever known in my thirty-five years in public education.”
And her students echo these sentiments. When asked to describe Mrs. Kingsmore “in one word” their responses were an immediate outpouring of support: “Motherly; out-going; enthusiastic; supportive; intelligent; caring; personable; interactive; inspiring; kind-hearted; loving; school-spirited; always there; proud”. One student said he could not answer in one word and responded, "She makes us feel like big fish in a small pond!" No one could have said it better.
Mrs. Kingsmore will formally receive her award later this year by the NJ Principals and Supervisors Association as well as receive special recognition for this achievement by the NJ State Board of Education and the NJ Commissioner of Education. Thank you, Mrs. Kingsmore for putting Henry Hudson Regional on the map as home to the NJ Visionary Principal of the Year for 2015-2016 and MetLife Principal of the Year 2016-2017!