Elementary school principal recognized for her achievements

Dr. Denise King was recognized by mayor and council at the Nov. 22 meeting

B. Bernice Young Elementary School principal Denise King, standing with her four-year-old granddaughter NaAsia Richardson, receives a certificate of recognition from Mayor Brian Carlin for being chosen as the NJ 2016 National Distinguished Principal. Council President Carl Schoenborn (right) and the rest of council spoke on King’s achievement at the Nov. 22 township council meeting.

At the Nov. 22 township council meeting, Mayor Brian Carlin and the rest of township council presented B. Bernice Young Elementary School Principal Dr. Denise King with a certificate of recognition. King was recently named the NJ 2016 National Distinguished Principal and honored with the NJSPA Visionary Leadership Award.

The National Association of Elementary School Principals establish the program in 1984. It was designed to recognize and celebrate elementary and middle-level principals who have set high standards for instruction, character, student achievement and climate for every person involved in their learning communities

Carlin spoke about King’s background, commending her 11 years with the district. King oversees more than 800 students and has 25 years of educational experience including teaching, professional development, vice principal and principal experience. She serves as the president of the Burlington County Principals and Supervisors Association, is a board member on the YMCA Camden and Burlington Counties’ Youth Advisory Board and is involved with the Friends of Burlington County Library and the NJ EXCEL Administration Leadership Program.

“She is a passionate supporter for empowering young adults with challenges for career and college readiness,” Carlin said.

King and her husband, Marcus, have lived in the township for 15 years and are proud parents of three sons. King earned her bachelor’s of the arts degree from Rutgers University, her master’s degree in education from Cheyney University and her doctorate degree from Nova Southeastern University.

“Your distinguished achievements and extraordinary career accomplishments have made an impact on countless young lives as well as on our community. On behalf of the residents of Burlington Township, we congratulate you on this significant recognition,” Carlin said to King while presenting her the certificate of recognition. “We wish you continued success in your future endeavors.”

King thanked the mayor for his involvement with the community and the schools, acknowledging that he visits Young School every year for the Read Across America initiative. King also thanked her “school family,” including Superintendent Mary Ann Bell, for attending the meeting and offering their support. She also thanked her family and students.

“We are very proud and humble just to have Young School out in our township in a positive spotlight throughout not only New Jersey, but the entire nation,” King said. “It was my pleasure to represent our school in Washington, D.C., last month showcasing just what we do.”

King also thanked council for its countless hours of volunteering and partnership with the schools.

“If you’ve been to Young School before, [you know] it’s all about family. So with pride, I accept this recognition from you on behalf of our school and our Young School family,” King said.

King welcomed mayor and council to the Young School family. King’s 4-year-old granddaughter and Young School student NaAsia Richardson passed around paper smiley faces to mayor, council and all public meeting attendees — a tradition at Young School.

King’s mother, Shirley Ford, spoke when King was finished, tearily saying the certificate of recognition has been a wonderful honor and thanked mayor and council on behalf of her family.

“I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart because she is such a special person in our life,” Ford said.

All councilmembers commended King for her dedication and leadership. Councilwoman Joyce Howell thanked Ford for raising such an accomplished daughter.

“I want to thank you for the foundation that you set and the example that you gave to your children. Without the foundation that our parents gave us, where would we be?” Howell said. “Thank you so much for planting the seeds for Dr. King to succeed.”

Howell is an alumni of the Burlington Township School District and added that she would likely not be where she is today without the district and administrators such as King.

Councilman Robert Jung commended the Board of Education on selecting outstanding principals such as King and offered his support.

“It’s very well deserved. Every time I go over to that school, the staff and yourself greet everyone with a smile and you’re very welcoming to everyone that shows up,” Jung said. “We’re right behind you and will help in any way we can.”

Councilwoman Patricia Siboczy, who is also a former Board of Education member and a current teacher in the school district, spoke about her understanding for the need and appreciation of outstanding leadership in the schools. Siboczy added that achievements such as these don’t happen alone, and family support is always very important.

One of the last to speak was Councilman E.L. Pete Green: “I am he who does not smile, and you brought a smile to my face tonight,” Green said.