Ms. Lynn Irby
p: (973) 378 - 2772 ext 2000
Lynn is a native of the South Orange Maplewood School District, and a graduate of Douglass College Rutgers University where she majored in English and Political Science. She began teaching in the Newark Public School system where she was a middle school English teacher and later became a Staff Developer in the English Department. Lynn was the Project Manager for the Striving Readers program, which was a 14 million dollar grant to study the reading habits of middle school students. After receiving her Masters of Science in Educational Leadership from Fordham University, Lynn was a Special Assistant to the Assistant Superintendent in charge of instruction for 15 schools.
In 2009, Lynn became the principal of 13th Avenue School in Newark, a Pre- K -8 school, and then the principal of Arts High School, the Nation’s first Performing Arts High School. She remained there for 4 years before coming back home to South Orange Middle School.
Lynn is a passionate educator who has dedicated her life to ensuring children receive the best possible education. It is her personal mission to create an environment where students can thrive academically and socially, and where every voice is valued and heard!
She is extremely proud and honored to lead a team of extraordinary educators and brilliant students!
Mr. James Jennings
p: (973) 378 - 2772 ext 2006
James Jennings has been the Assistant Principal at the South Orange Middle School (SOMS) since 2003 and has twenty-four years of experience with the South Orange-Maplewood School District.
James holds a Master in Arts Degree from Montclair State University in Administration and Supervision and a Bachelor of Science Degree from Rutgers State University in Business and Marketing.
Prior to becoming an administrator, James was a Mathematics Teacher at South Orange Middle School and at Essex Valley High School in West Caldwell, NJ. James has a great deal of passion for working with middle school students. He works diligently at coordinating both the PARCC & NJ ASK Tests.
James ensures that the students and staff have what they need to be part of a safe, intelligent and committed working community. He has a strong commitment to the development of students. James is also a visionary leader and solid team player with a proven track record in collaborating with the community to increase student academics and maintaining excellence in education. He maintains a great rapport with all staff members including: custodians, food service workers, teachers and the Board of Education.
James’s patient disposition helps him foster a genuine bond with his students, which has yielded positive results. He has a personal effect on children; he has motivated some of the most reluctant students to see value in their education, despite the obstacles they may be facing in their lives. In addition, he values his relationships with his colleagues and cares about the welfare of children, having had four children graduate from SOMS.
Mr. James Waldren
p: (973) 378 - 2772 ext 2005
Jim is a graduate of Montclair State University Panzer School of Physical Education, where he also played sports. His athletic career is what inspired him to continue working with children. His time at Montclair, both on and off of the field, has taught Jim a great deal about being a team player as well as supporting others during difficult situations. Jim uses the tools and guidance that he received to teach and inspire his staff members and students, especially those that are exceptional learners.
Jim was a member of the Newark Public Schools for 16 years. Jim led one of the 14 high school athletic departments and was an asset to the school community when he was Vice Principal. His passion for physical education, sports, and health and wellness has helped so many students from Newark excel in sports as well as academia.
Jim brings the same fire and tenacity to South Orange Middle School by assisting students in becoming the best version of themselves that they can be. He works assiduously at instilling values in students such as collaboration, work ethic, and academic excellence. His positive and supportive attitude is what inspires both the staff and the students!