This summer, Dr. Rosetta Treece will leave her position as Principal of Hopewell Valley Regional School District’s (HVRSD) Timberlane Middle School, to become the Director of Curriculum and Instruction, a position made available with the retirement of Christine Laquidara.
Dr. Treece dreamed of obtaining a college degree in education with the goal of becoming an English teacher. She attempted to put herself through college, after finishing high school, but had to stop due to financial pressures. It was not until years later, when she was a married stay-at-home mother of two children, did she begin her college journey, with the full support of her family. She began taking night classes at Bucks County Community College and, when finished, she and her youngest son started studies at The College of New Jersey. Her son attended the campus Montessori school. She graduated in 2002 with Magna Cum Laude honors.
“I’ve always looked at what I’ve done as being a role model for my kids. I’ve strived so my kids would know they could do anything,” said Dr. Treece.
The following September, Dr. Treece was hired by Trenton Public Schools to teach grades 9-12 English classes, and she later became the District’s Literacy Coach. Her role as Literacy Coach included: ensuring that writing took place across the curriculum, planning district-wide professional development days for the 1,000 plus teaching and paraprofessional staff, providing in-class support for high school teachers across content areas, and working directly with the Assistant Superintendent responsible for Curriculum and Instruction.
In 2004, she began graduate studies online with Grand Canyon University. After a full day working and after her family went to bed, she worked on the computer. In 2007, she was awarded a Master’s in Educational Leadership and Administration with high distinction. She left Trenton Public Schools in 2007 to become Vice Principal for North Burlington County Middle School and, in 2008, began doctoral work at Rowan University. After completing her dissertation on Fostering Emotional Intelligence in Adolescents, she received her Doctorate in Educational Leadership (high distinction), in 2014.
Dr. Treece came to Hopewell Valley Regional School District in September 2012 as Vice Principal of Timberlane Middle School and, in March 2014, became the school’s principal.
When asked what it was like being the principal of a mostly white school she said, “I’ve always been one of the few for most of my life.” Dr. Treece was a “military brat” and moved around a lot as a child.
“I grew up everywhere. I was frequently the only African-American in my class. The good thing about being a child of a parent in the military is that you learn how to adapt. I’ve always been able to code switch and fit in anywhere. I come as I am. I don’t try to be someone I’m not. It’s always worked for me and I’ve always been comfortable wherever I go because of that.”
When asked how she will approach her position she said, “My educational philosophy has never changed from the moment I’ve hit the classroom. All students are able to achieve academically. I believe you can get them there if you meet them where they are at. Their potential is limitless. I approached my classroom and later, my supervisory responsibilities the same way. The academic rigor needs to be there and we need to challenge all our students. We can do this with the right supports. Teachers need to constantly provide opportunities for students to master.”