The National School Boards Association’s Magna Awards program has a long history of recognizing school district innovation and creativity in helping increase student achievement.

The 2019 awards program focused on equity in education, recognizing district programs that remove barriers to achievement for vulnerable or underserved children.

Colts Neck, in Monmouth County, was a first place winner of the NSBA’s Magna Award for best practices. The district was recognized for its MOVES and SAID programs, which provide early intervention for speech impairments, motor planning/executive functioning, and fine motor weaknesses. The initiative has provided students with therapeutic support, while reducing the district’s IEP rate by half.

Superintendent MaryJane Garibay said she was proud to receive the award.

“On behalf of the members of the Colts Neck Township Board of Education, Dr. Beck and I are truly honored to have our school district recognized by the National School Boards Association,” Garibay said. “We are especially grateful to our very talented staff, especially Dr. Christine Doran, who embrace, value, and implement these innovative practices through the lens of equity and opportunity.  Understanding that all students are ‘differently able,’ we strive to design the most appropriate, inclusive learning experiences to empower, engage, and inspire our students.”

Pictured (from left to right), Michael R. McClure, NJSBA vice president for finance; Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, executive director, NJSBA; Dr. MaryJane Garibay, superintendent, Colts Neck Township schools; Dr. Richard Beck, director of special services, Colts Neck Township schools; Dan Sinclair, president, NJSBA and Daniel Webster, NJSBA immediate past president.