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HHS Welcomes New Principal Mr.Cunningham

Mr.+Cunningham
Mr. Cunningham

Mr. Cunningham

Mr. Cunningham

Marjes Castillo and Sarah Kozrosh

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Hawthorne High School had the opportunity to welcome with open arms, the new school principal, Mr Billy Cunningham. Mr.Cunningham joined the Hawthorne High School Bear family starting the summer of the 2018 school year.  The Clarion recently had the opportunity to interview our newest member of the HHS Bear family.

 

Clarion Reporter: Tell us a little bit of yourself.

Mr. Cunningham: I grew up in North Arlington where I went to Saint Peter’s Prep for High School. I transferred out of the University of New Haven, and completed my Bachelor’s degree in New Jersey City University where I graduated with a BA in History and minor in Political science. I then started my teaching career in Jersey City with special education. I then went back to get my Master’s Degree in Special Education and continued to teach as a special education teacher and I decided to go back to school for an additional Master’s degree in educational administration supervision. From there, I transitioned from a special education teacher to a crisis intervention teacher. A crisis intervention teacher basically deals with at risk kids…kids who often get in trouble, behavioral type kids. I did that for a number of years and then I became a supervisor in Jersey City with special student populations, which dealt with special education initiatives. In total, I spent 12 years of my career in Jersey City. After that, for about a year and a half, I became a vice principal in Jersey City. Then, I left Jersey City and became the Vice Principal for Rutherford High School for four years.

 

Clarion Reporter: Do you have plans for Hawthorne High School?

Mr. Cunningham: I do! From when I first started here in Hawthorne on July 1, I invited all the teachers in for one-on-one meetings over the summer. I used those meetings to get insight on what was going on in the school, and what they wanted to see in changes, and I made some decisions from there. The first thing I decided to do was create a School Culture Climate and Wellness Committee to focus on some changes in the school culture. We had our first meeting already, and the Bear Award was part of the initiative. I want to help teachers get better with their instruction, and that is a big initiative of mine. I want to have an open door policy in terms of communicating with parents and students and teachers more effectively that I would really like to focus on and really build that culture within the school.

 

Clarion Reporter: What was your first impression of HHS?

Mr. Cunningham: My first impression was that it is a tight knit community. A lot of people who worked here also went here so that says a lot about the school on how it is a family type atmosphere. People care about this school because they grew up here as well as graduated from here, and then they send their kids here as well. You have the support from the local community because the people are invested in it in terms of having been here for generations.

 

Clarion Reporter: What are the unwritten rules of where you work?

Mr. Cunningham: I think an unwritten rule would be saying hi to everyone in the hallways. It doesn’t matter who it is because it is always good to hear a ‘hello” or a “good morning”.*Laughing* Another unwritten rule would be to not take someone’s parking spot. I think everyone should respect that.

 

The Clarion would like to thank Mr. Cunningham for his time. We are excited to have a new administrator at our school!

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Marjes Castillo, Editor

Marjes Castillo is currently a senior at Hawthorne High School. This is her third year writing for The Clarion. In addition to writing for The Clarion,...

Sarah Kozrosh, Editor

Sarah Kozrosh is a senior at Hawthorne High School and it is her third year as a writer for The Clarion. Sarah enjoys writing because she is able to express...

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HHS Welcomes New Principal Mr.Cunningham