Dr. Timothy Purnell, executive director and CEO of the New Jersey School Boards Association, recently announced the expansion of the Association’s “Unsung Superheroes in Education” awards in a video that pays tribute to individuals who go above and beyond to support students but who often don’t get the recognition they deserve.

“As the Unsung Superheroes in Education program continues to evolve, we are excited to announce the expansion of the program to two brand new categories: human resource professionals and technology professionals,” he said. “These essential roles play a pivotal role in supporting our educational institutions and ensuring smooth operations. By adding these two categories, we aim to shine a spotlight on the vital work carried out by these dedicated professionals, further honoring their commitment to educational excellence.”

The Association’s Unsung Superheroes program was launched last year to highlight individuals who work tirelessly behind the scenes, dedicating their time and passion to create a nurturing learning environment. The program is one way that the NJSBA seeks to bring attention to these incredible individuals, showcase their stories and express gratitude for their unwavering commitment.

This program celebrates the invaluable contributions of school district staff in the following categories:

  • Librarian/media specialist.
  • Coach/club adviser.
  • School nurse.
  • Bus driver/aide.
  • Custodian/maintenance/building and grounds.
  • Cafeteria/food services.
  • Crossing guard.
  • Secretary/administrative assistant.
  • Paraprofessional/aide.
  • Human resource professional.
  • Technology professional.
  • School security personnel.

To nominate your education superheroes, please complete this form carefully, in its entirety, by May 1, 2024, for each person you think should be honored.

All submissions are held in strict confidence and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Anyone submitting a nomination must supply thorough, accurate and complete information. All submissions will be vetted with the school district of the nominee to confirm the nominee is in good standing.

Award winners will be recognized at Workshop 2024, which will be held Oct. 21 to Oct. 24 at the Atlantic City Convention Center. Additional details will be available soon.

You can view a School Leader article highlighting last year’s winners here.