Darleen L. Gearhart
Darleen L. Gearhart has worked for Newark Public Schools for over twenty-eight years. She began working to improve the lives of inner-city children as a high school mathematics teacher at Weequahic High School in Newark, New Jersey. In 1997 she sought to impact a larger scale of students in mathematics by serving as the district’s Mathematics Supervisor where she developed and provided professional development for classroom and resource teachers, coaches, and principals in mathematics content, pedagogy, pedagogical content knowledge, and assessment. In that role, she co-authored, implemented, and served as Project Director for the Local Systemic Change Project, NPSSIM, a five year, $6.5 million NSF-funded project to reform mathematics in grades K through 8. In 2011 she was selected to support schools in turnaround efforts by serving as the Director of School Improvement Grants and subsequently in 2012, she was selected to serve Newark’s children as the Principal of Sussex Avenue School. In that role she dramatically turned Sussex Avenue School from a failing urban school to a thriving community. In August 2019 she was again selected as the Director of Mathematics for Newark Public Schools. In that role she served as Newark’s leader and expert in the area of Mathematics, developing a comprehensive instructional program in mathematics. Currently she supports mathematics at the district level and serves as the Principal of Science Park High School. In January 2014 she received the Leadership Matters Award from the Newark Trust for Education, the Stretching Minds Award from the Newark Yoga Movement in September 2014, the Ercell Watson Memorial Award for Distinguished Service from Montclair State University in April 2015, the My Principal Matters Award in June 2016, the Outstanding Leadership Award in June 2017, the Academic Achievement Award for Highest SGP in Mathematics in November 2017, the Attendance Innovation Award in April 2018, and the Educator of the Year Award in June 2018. Principal Gearhart holds a Bachelor in Pure Mathematics from Lock Haven University, a Masters in Education from Saint Peter’s College, a Masters in Applied Mathematics from NJIT, and ABD in a PhD program at Rutgers University.
Niaz Uddin grew up in Newark and is a proud graduate of the Newark school system. He attended Mount Vernon School, Science Park High School as a 9th grader, and then completed graduation from Arts High School.
He held various corporate positions working in retail and media industries, doing business consulting and media research with companies such as NBC Universal. In 2009, Niaz transitioned to the classroom as a 3rd grade teacher at South 17th Street School through The New Teacher Project teaching fellowship. Since then, he has held numerous positions in the district, including the role of vice principal at his alma mater, Mount Vernon School, for five years. Niaz is keen on forming meaningful partnerships with external organizations that can provide life-long learning opportunities for students. At Mount Vernon, he implemented a food and nutrition program in collaboration with FoodCorps and helped to establish a garden that serves as an outdoor classroom for students. Most recently, he was a Special Assistant with the High School Leadership Team supporting principals and administrative teams.
Niaz completed his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a dual-major in finance and international business from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University and Master of Arts from The New School University. He is also a former Fulbright Scholar to India where he researched and studied the Bollywood film industry.