Following an extensive search and interview process, the Washington Township Board of Education has appointed Naté E. Dawson as principal at Hurffville Elementary School, effective August 1. Dawson replaces retiring principal Jeff Pollock, who spent 20 years as a principal in the district, the last eight at Hurffville Elementary.
“We are very excited to have Naté join our leadership team in Washington Township,” Superintendent of Schools Joe Bollendorf said. “She has an in-depth understanding of elementary education and possesses excellent leadership and communication skills. Her experience as both an elementary teacher and administrator, combined with her passion for education and children, make her a perfect fit for Hurffville Elementary School.”
“I am most impressed with Naté’s commitment to students.” District Director of Elementary Education Gretchen Gerber said. “She is dedicated to developing the whole child by cultivating a positive learning environment, while also setting high expectations for student learning. Naté is approachable and positive, and she will be an asset to our elementary administrative team.”
After launching a professional career in broadcast journalism, Dawson transitioned into elementary education in 2008, teaching kindergarten and second grade in the Lindenwold Public Schools until 2017. During her stay in Lindenwold and a principal internship, she managed the Extended School Year (ESY) program, authored the ELA and social studies curricula, and analyzed state assessment data to develop school improvement plans.
Since November 2017, Dawson has served as the assistant principal of the Dr. Geraldyn O. Foster Early Childhood Center in the Bridgeton Public Schools, leading the initiative to implement inclusive practices and a mixed-age classroom-models. This early childhood program partners with numerous childcare providers and services over 800 preschool-age students.
A 2006 graduate of Delaware State University with a bachelor of arts degree in broadcast journalism, Dawson earned a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Wilmington University (2012) and is on track to complete an education doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Capella University. She currently holds a standard New Jersey teaching certificate as an elementary school teacher (grades K to six), as well as principal and supervisor certifications.