Bear Tavern welcomes new principal

The Hopewell Valley Regional School District is excited to introduce Mr. Jay Billy as the new principal of Bear Tavern Elementary School. He officially started this past week.

Billy is a well-sought-after guest speaker and published author of Lead with Culture: What Really Matters in Our Schools. He has spoken at conferences across the country on leadership, school culture, and trauma-informed practices.

After earning a Bachelor of Science Education degree from Ashland University and a Master of Science in Physical Education Exercise Physiology from the University of Delaware, he obtained a Master of Arts in School Leadership from The College of New Jersey. He began his career in public school education as a junior and senior high school Wellness teacher and a head wrestling coach. He was previously employed by Lawrence Public Schools where he served as an Elementary Supervisor of child study teams and special education and as Principal at both Slackwood and Ben Franklin Elementary schools.

Billy has a reputation for being a visionary leader who knows how to help teachers and students work together to create positive school culture.

Dr. Rosetta Treece, HVRSD Superintendent of Schools stated: “We were very intentional in our process of finding a strong replacement for Mr. Turnbull, the former principal of Bear Tavern Elementary School.  I am confident that Mr. Billy will maintain the welcoming and supportive culture already established in the Bear Tavern school community. He is well equipped to help the students and faculty continue to flourish both academically and social-emotionally.”

Board President Anita Williams-Galiano also expressed enthusiasm for the new addition: “The School Board, with the support and insights of our community, the HVRSD Administration, and Staff, has always prioritized securing the best talent for our district’s leadership roles. Mr. Billy’s vast experience and transformative vision for education align perfectly with the forward momentum we seek for our schools. As a board, we understand the importance of shaping the right environment for educators and students. We believe in empowering visionary leaders who can inspire and elevate the educational experience for all involved. With Mr. Billy at the helm, I am confident we are stepping into the next chapter of innovation, collaboration, and growth.

Billy shared the following regarding his transition into the Bear Tavern and Hopewell community: “I’m so excited to get started at Bear Tavern. I feel very fortunate to be able to be part of HVRSD. Mr. Turnbull has been instrumental in helping me to feel comfortable. I have been so impressed with the professionalism and caring nature of the staff members I’ve already met.  I can’t wait to meet all of the staff, students, and families and get things rolling. We’re going to have an awesome year.”

Please join Hopewell Regional School District in welcoming Principal Billy to the Community.

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