hhrs district of distinction 9 26 19Freehold, NJ — Thursday, September 26, 2109, the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders recognized the Henry Hudson Regional School District as a District of Distinction for their STEAM ACADEMY. The proclamation was given to Dr. Susan Compton, Superintendent of Schools, Mrs. Lenore Kingsmore, Principal of Henry Hudson Regional School, Mrs. Leigh Fitzsimmons, STEAM ACADEMY Coordinator, and Dr. Les Richens, Monmouth County Superintendent.  This national award symbolizes the exemplary program that Henry Hudson Regional has been put in place with their STEAM ACADEMY.

In its July/August edition, District Administration magazine honors 34 school districts as “Districts of Distinction.” This is the ninth round of honorees for this national recognition program, which began in November 2014. 

Districts of Distinction was established by District Administration magazine to honor school districts that are leading the way with new ideas that solve challenges. Honorees are selected based on quantifiable results and the replicability of their initiatives. The July 2019 Districts of Distinction honorees were selected by the magazine’s editors from numerous nominations.

The 34 school systems from 19 states honored in this round have launched programs that range from partnering with outside organizations for career training to improving literacy to using music to support at-risk students and English language learners. 

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Henry Hudson Regional School decided about eight years ago to provide STEM activities to middle school students with the intention of creating a STEAM Academy at the high school.  Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Principal, Lenore Kingsmore, and Superintendent, Dr. Compton as well as a supportive and progressive Board of Education, HHRS hired a STEM Coordinator, Leigh Fitzsimmons,  to create the STEAM ACADEMY. This innovative program will be graduating its first seniors with a seal of STEAM/STEM on their diplomas. Principal Kingsmore is honored that her application for recognition from the District Administration was selected for providing students with a college and career ready approach to the many fields that exist today and will in the future.  The program was also created as a means to keeping talented students in district while also attracting students from outside of the district which it has accomplished. “I am thrilled that Mrs. Fitzsimmons, Teacher of the Year for 2019, has developed a strong curriculum which enables creative and innovative approaches to problem solving,” remarked Mrs. Kingsmore, “it is an honor to be recognized for this accomplishment.” 

Tri-District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Susan Compton said, “Being chosen as one of the thirty four “Districts of Distinction” in the nation is a tremendous honor for our Henry Hudson Regional STEAM ACADEMY and for our school district.  On behalf of the Henry Hudson Regional Board of Education, and as superintendent, we are extremely proud of our students, along with our STEAM Coordinator, Mrs. Leigh Fitzsimmons and our principal, Mrs. Lenore Kingsmore. Dr. Compton further stated that the HHRS STEAM ACADEMY was also one of the five finalists in New Jersey for the national Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest and one of the finalists in the New Jersey School Boards Association and U.S. Army STEAM Tank Competition.  

This is the third time that Henry Hudson Regional School has been recognized nationally for innovation and concern for student success and school climate.  In 2016, the Therapy Dog Program was recognized and in 2017 the Game Design and Advanced Game Design program was given the award for Technology Excellence-both from District Administration Magazine.   

“These districts have developed innovative programs to support students in their education and well beyond the classroom,” says JD Solomon, editorial director of District Administration magazine. “We hope our readers are inspired by the efforts of these honorees to create successful initiatives in their own districts.”

To view a full list of the 2019 honorees, and to apply for the 2020 round of the Districts of Distinction program, visit districtadministration.com/dod.

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...