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Local Principal Named Educational Leader of the Year

UNION TOWNSHIP, NJ -- Mrs. Rhonda Pevorus, principal of Union Township Elementary School, was recognized by Centenary University and Visions Federal Credit Union as the  2022 Educational Leader of the Year.  This award recognizes school leaders who have transformed educational practices and positively impacted the culture and climate in their school community. Each year, schools are encouraged to submit nominations that include community recommendations. More than 20 school leaders were nominated for this award.

One of the many ways that Mrs. Pevorus has transformed the climate and culture in her school by repurposing a classroom as a “zones room” - a concept inspired by a program known as “zones of regulation” which helps students to regulate their emotions during the school day. The walls were painted in the "zones" colors. Large colorful bean bags were added as well as zones posters and decorations. The room was stocked with materials to help children navigate the different zones and difficult feelings that accompany certain zones. This uniquely designed space is a haven for students, allowing them the time and space to become focused and ready for instruction in their classrooms. 

Mrs. Pevorus is known for her innate and authentic style of sharing positivity. One of the first ideas she implemented was the introduction of KIP, the Union Township Elementary School mascot. KIP is a beloved tiger whose acronym stands for “keep it positive.” The students love being greeted by KIP on the bus and in their classrooms. 

One nominee stated, “we recently moved to Union Township and my daughter has had an extremely difficult time adjusting to her new elementary school, leading to school avoidance and high anxiety. Mrs. Pevorus took the time to make a personal connection with my daughter, has consistently and repeatedly come up with creative ways to engage my daughter, has never lost her patience, has showed tremendous understanding and compassion, repeatedly moved her schedule to fit her in, and most importantly, made my daughter feel loved, welcomed, and safe. I can tell she genuinely loves spending time with my daughter and all the children.”

Not only is Mrs. Pevorus respected by students and families, but she is highly respected by her staff.  Mrs. Pevorus values and appreciates her staff and she goes out of her way to let them know.  She regularly sends encouraging notes and leaves special treats. While she has an extensive list of responsibilities, Mrs. Pevorus always goes above and beyond to let her staff know that they matter and are an integral part of the school community.

“Mrs. Pevorus is a transformational leader who is extremely deserving of this award. She goes out of her way to connect with students and their families to create the most welcoming and high-quality educational experience. Mrs. Pevorus inspires her staff on a daily basis by providing them with the guidance and support they need to be successful,” says Union Township Superintendent Dr. Nicholas Diaz.