For Immediate Release: June 28, 2014
From: International Association for STEM Leaders
International Association for STEM Leaders makes debut in the nation’s capitol and recognizes Jennifer Hernandez, Principal of Marietta Center for Advanced Academics with the Elementary Principal Leadership Award. Jennifer Hernandez is part of our ongoing video documentary featuring national STEM leaders.
On April 24 and 25, Millwood Virginia-based, International Association for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Leaders successfully launched its inaugural leadership event at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Nearly 100 STEM leaders from around the world joined IASL leadership. This invitation only annual STEM Leadership Summit recognized several attendees for their leadership in STEM education through a formal awards ceremony. The awards were presented to programs, schools, school districts and individuals who exemplify STEM Excellence as defined by criteria developed by IASL.
Dr. Jennifer Hernandez is a graduate of Old Dominion University, in Norfolk, Virginia where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree with Concentrations in English and Science and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education. She was a classroom teacher in elementary and middle schools in Virginia, Florida, and Georgia before earning an Educational Specialist Degree in Leadership and Administration. She recently completed her Educational Doctorate in Leadership and Management with her dissertation focusing on the implementation of an elementary STEM learning team and its effect on teacher self-efficacy. Dr. Hernandez has held several educational leadership positions that include: Elementary Assistant Principal, Middle Grades Administrator for STEM Magnet Curriculum, Administrator on Special Assignment for Science at the Central Office Level, and Elementary Principal.
In her current capacity as Principal of Marietta Center for Advanced Academics (MCAA), Dr. Hernandez has collaborated with a progressive teaching staff to create a nationally recognized program that provides students with an advanced academic experience with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math. MCAA has developed daily STEM classes that emphasize STEM curricular areas in an interdisciplinary, thematic context. The school is currently working on an initiative to integrate the arts throughout its STEM curriculum. Dr. Hernandez has also led the implementation of bring your own technology (BYOT) at MCAA and has signed multiple school partnerships through the Chamber of Commerce to propel her school forward and ensure that her students are college and career ready: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, the US Navy, Novelis Recycling, the American Society of Civil Engineers, Kennesaw State University, Southern Polytechnic State University, Chattahoochee Technical College and more.
As a recognized school of talented students and a capable teaching faculty, MCAA provides tours and professional learning sessions to leaders across the state of Georgia and the nation. Superintendents from numerous school districts across the south as well as leaders from the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) have visited her school to hear her speak and to tour the school campus in an effort to understand and learn about best practices in STEM education. Dr. Hernandez has also presented at state and national conferences on the topic of elementary STEM. In addition to her current role as Principal, Dr. Hernandez is working collaboratively with district leadership on the design and development of the school system’s technology plan with the primary goal of increasing opportunities for student created content in differentiated, one-to-one computing environments.
During her tenure as principal, MCAA has received multiple recognitions that include: 2013 National Blue Ribbon School by the US Department of Education, 2012 named the first STEM Certified School in the State of Georgia, 2012 designated a SMART Showcase School by SMART Technologies, 2012 awarded the Georgia School of Excellence . MCAA currently ranks at the top on the Georgia College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI). Dr. Hernandez has received multiple recognitions within her school district, is affiliated with multiple leadership organizations including Leadership Cobb-sponsored by the Cobb Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and received the Elementary STEM Leadership Award by the International Association of STEM Leaders in 2014.
Although the many accomplishments highlighted provide evidence of Dr. Hernandez’s commitment to public education excellence, her ultimate passion is to prepare students for the unique and exciting challenges of tomorrow. She believes students can achieve distinct levels of learning when led by caring, innovative, and creative adults. Hence, she strives to assist students on their paths toward personal excellence in any education setting in which she is blessed to impact.