Long Island Education Community Gathers To Celebrate Huntington Educator
Judith A. Hynes of Huntington, Principal of Specialized Schools for Nassau BOCES, was recently lauded as one of the most devoted supporters of public education on Long Island. Ms. Hynes is among 14 honorees to receive the 2017 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award, bestowed on those individuals and organizations whose impact on public education in Nassau County can be measured in tangible ways.
A strategic education partner with school districts since 1967, Nassau BOCES created the award to recognize those who share its mission of ensuring a successful, challenging, caring and safe environment that enables students of all ages and abilities to achieve their maximum potential. These outstanding individuals and organizations have made strides in accomplishing key educational goals embraced by Nassau BOCES, such as ensuring student success.
Hundreds of educators from across Long Island gathered to honor Ms. Hynes at the Education Partner Awards Gala, held last month by the Nassau BOCES Educational Foundation. The Foundation is an independent non-profit organization that raises funds for innovative educational programs that fall outside of the agency’s budget.
In the spring of 2008, Judith Hynes took the helm of the Nassau BOCES Teenage Parenting Program (TAP) and immediately immersed herself in the monumental task of transitioning TAP to its new home. She was instrumental in ensuring that the new physical space for the program was safe and appropriate for the students of TAP and their newborn babies. Ms. Hynes remained committed to this task. She worked persistently and passionately to provide a sound academic program to the teen parents entrusted to her care, and to provide a safe, healthy, nurturing environment for her students’ infants and toddlers.
After moving into a Central Office position, Ms. Hynes was given the task of overseeing the Alternative Education programs in the Department of Regional Schools and Instructional Programs. Two of those programs include the Regional Summer School and the Twilight Alternative High Schools. In that role, Ms. Hynes has grown the summer program to over 25,000 student participants in Nassau County, while improving the curriculum and prioritizing the role of program coordinators as instructional leaders, encouraging them at every opportunity to support instructional staff.
The success of Ms. Hynes’ leadership is indisputable; the proof is in the numbers. During her tenure as principal, the Summer School program has seen a significant increase in the passing rates of several of the common core exams. Ms. Hynes has found that by engaging master teachers to assist in improving instruction, and by constantly looking to improve teacher performance, there have been notable increases in the scores of the 28 districts involved in the program.
In addition to her role as principal, Ms. Hynes serves as Co-Chairperson for the Education Committee of the Juvenile Detention Initiative, which requires a masterful combination of collaboration and leadership. As co-chair, she meets regularly with the Commissioner of Nassau County Probation, the police department, assistant district attorneys, and the leaders of community organizations.
“Judy Hynes is a longtime champion of students who struggle with the confines of the traditional school setting,” said Nassau BOCES Board Vice President Susan Bergtraum during the award presentation. “She has devoted her life to helping these students find their path and has always had great success. It is her mission to ensure that all students are getting the best opportunities that they can. We thank Ms. Hynes for all her good work on behalf of Long Island’s at-risk and alternative students.”