Sharon Amato holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership, Management and Policy, and she has earned accolades as an educational leader and researcher. She was inducted into Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education in 2010. She is currently serving as Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction in the Fort Lee, NJ Schools.
Dr. Amato has had a history of success raising student achievement. As Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Amato focused her efforts on improving the school culture and student services, in particular in areas of Literacy, English as a Second Language, and World Language Learning. Analyzing qualitative and quantitative measures with teachers and administrators, she has led efforts to align curriculum to Common Core Standards in ELA and Mathematics, provide quality district-wide Professional Development and increased parent involvement.
As supervisor of ELL, English Language learners in Fort Lee have a 99% graduation rate, compared to the national average of 71%, and 100% of the district total ELL population meets AYP on the ACCESS assessment. Concerns about the districts’ changing demographics, in particular the burgeoning immigrant population representing 40 different language backgrounds, Dr. Amato focused on parent outreach, the development of content area courses for ELLs and ongoing professional development in Sheltered English for staff. As a result of her collaborative efforts with members of the administrative team, Fort Lee schools are highly ranked.
Through her robust Parents Advisory Council groups, she has forged partnerships among and between the school district, teachers and parents. Through the Advisory Council, she makes budget presentations, provides information to parents about standardized tests and curriculum, and she invites guest speakers to provide information on a myriad of topics to parents. She provides support to immigrant parents as needed so that they may offer their feedback and participate in the educational programs of their children. She created a partnership with Bergen County Special Services to provide English Language classes to parents of children in the school district.
In addition to her experience as a teacher and school administrator, she has demonstrated leadership in other fields. Dr. Amato began her career as Coordinator of a Community Food and Nutrition program, a non-profit organization that served economically disadvantaged families. She led efforts to provide emergency food to families in need, developed nutrition education programs in the public schools, and facilitated a life skills training program for high school students. She served as Owner and Director of The Language Clinic, a private school that provided English Language and management training services to the corporate sector, and she is a partner in a Commercial Real Estate LLC, overseeing various facets of its management and organization. Dr. Amato was a presenter at William Paterson University, Annual ESL/Bilingual Conference, “Identity and Language Learning: Experiences of Diverse Students and Teachers” and has authored a dissertation, “Variables that Predict World Language Achievement in One New Jersey High School as Measured by the STAMP Test.”. She was designated “Teacher of the Year” and named to “Who’s Who among Teachers in New Jersey”. She has attended postgraduate courses at Columbia University, Metropolitan School Study Council, University of Bridgeport, Saint Peter’s College, Jersey City State University and The Asian Society. She participated in a curriculum-designing seminar in Princeton presented by Grant Wiggins of Authentic Education, Leadership and Learning Center and ASCD. She has participated School Law forums at NJ PSA and Straus Esmay and District Management Council. Over the past three decades, she has earned recognition for her facilitation of many school wide programs such as Crises Counseling, Diversity, SIOP, Common Core Standards and Leadership training for the Administrative team. Through her work with teachers and collaboration with peers, she has translated research-based goals into concrete and detailed action plans. These efforts have markedly increased student achievement and expanded learning opportunities for students.
Dr. Amato believes that unwavering passion, an ability to create an environment that facilitates a shared vision, a positive school culture that fosters and sustains student achievement; parent involvement and ongoing professional growth for teachers are key elements of highly effective educational programs. Her scientific research and experience as an educator has revealed that effective school leadership has the most significant impact on student achievement.
She believes that educators must examine the link between policy, funding and leadership to find the most effective ways to optimize financial and human resources. Her work has demonstrated that collaboration between all stakeholders is key in determining what works and what will deliver optimal achievement results and success for all children. Dr. Amato holds New Jersey Department of Education certificates as a Teacher, Supervisor, Principal and Superintendent. She is a member of New Jersey Association of School Administrators, The District Management Council, Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Foreign Language Educators of New Jersey, American Council of Teachers of Foreign Language, National Staff Development Council, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Diversity 2000, District Management Council and Kappa Delta Pi. She enjoys spending time with her family, golf, cycling, yoga, art films, literature, and cooking.
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