About Dr. Ponds

Dr. Jonathan C. Ponds, Superintendent

Dr. Jonathan C. Ponds has a distinguished career as an educator, coach, and scholar. He impressed each Board member with his depth of knowledge and experience, as well as his articulate descriptions of his educational philosophy and approach. His professional experience in a variety of settings has been successful in impacting both practice and climate in schools.

As the Superintendent of Schools/Principal of the Moonachie Public Schools in Moonachie, NJ, he is  credited with turning around a culturally and economically diverse student and family population. Under his leadership he raised student achievement, increased public support, established significant university, state, and local support, and established exemplary fiscal practices. He will be completing his fifth year in Moonachie when he transitions to Montclair.

Prior to Moonachie, he was Principal of the 780 student Parsons Elementary School in North Brunswick, NJ from August 2012 until August 2015. He implemented notable best practices in the school aimed at improving student achievement as well as creating thriving acceleration programs for students performing above grade level.

Dr. Ponds served as a Special Education teacher, basketball coach, vice principal, and dean of students prior to his building and district leadership positions.

He earned his Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island. His doctoral thesis is entitled, “A Case Study of Culturally Responsive Training Influence on Teachers’ Self-efficacy and Instructional Strategies Regarding their Low-income, Minority Students.” He earned a Master of Education degree with a concentration in Moderate Special Needs from Cambridge College, in Cambridge, MA.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina where he earned a full scholarship to play Division II soccer. As a lifelong learner who takes seriously the promise of education for all, he also earned a Certificate of Advanced Educational Leadership (CAEL) from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Upon his appointment in June, Dr. Ponds released the following statement:

My passion to educate all children and my conviction that all children can learn stems from my roots growing up in rural Alabama and seeing the power of opportunity provided through education. For over 20 years, I have collaborated with all stakeholders to meet a plethora of educational challenges with the foundation of educating all children. I began my educational journey in Massachusetts before relocating to New Jersey. I started my career as a special needs teacher in Boston and worked through the levels as a building administrator, Principal and Superintendent. While pursuing my doctorate, I researched strategies that would enhance the education of all children. Upon the many strategies that I investigated, Cultural Responsiveness is one strategy that I have not only used as a practitioner but have presented as a guest speaker, discussed as a panelist and currently teach to future principals, central office administrators and superintendents as an adjunct professor. I have been blessed to be an educator in diverse communities, and I have witnessed the power of diversity excel all children to excellence. I truly believe that diversity is a strength.
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