Ms. Bonita Samuels
p: (973) 378 - 2086
Principal Bonita Samuels has been employed with the South Orange Maplewood School District since 2001. Prior to beginning her principalship at Montrose Early Childhood Center, Mrs. Samuels was Principal at Marshall Elementary School, Assistant Principal at South Mountain Elementary School and a teacher of Special Education at both Jefferson and South Mountain Schools. Mrs. Samuels began her career as a Special Education teacher in the Jersey City Public Schools.
Mrs. Samuels attended New Jersey City University, where she received her B.A. in Special Education, M.A. in Early Childhood Special Education and M.A. in Educational Administration. She continually strives to create an atmosphere of innovation and best practices that utilizes her skills, knowledge, experiences and successes in Instructional Leadership, Special Education and Community Engagement.
Recent successes include navigating SOMSD’s Preschool Expansion, significantly expanding professional development opportunities for staff across the District and partnering with other schools for community engagement and mentoring opportunities. Mrs. Samuels collaborates with PTA and staff to integrate social justice and arts-based programming into the fiber of the schools she leads. In addition to working with local schools, Mrs. Samuels has forged student enrichment partnerships with public libraries and local businesses. Mrs. Samuels is an advocate for The Arts and Action Based Learning. She has been awarded several arts-based grants from Crayola and NJ Arts in Education. She is also a certified Action Based Learning instructor, a member of SHAPE America (Society for Health and Physical Educators) and grant recipient from KidsFit, which outfitted an Action Based Learning Lab for her primary school students.
Principal Samuels maintains professional memberships in the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), NJ Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA), and Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).
Mrs. Samuels works tirelessly to ensure that all students thrive in an engaging, inclusive, socially just and developmentally appropriate environment that meets their diverse and ever-changing needs. She values meaningful collaboration, leadership development and the effective engagement of stakeholders. Her leadership continues to lead to systemic changes across the District, State and Region.
Mrs. Samuels’ guiding principle is “To whom much is given, much is required”.