Darleen L. Gearhart has worked for Newark Public Schools for over 28 years. She began her career working to improve lives of inner-city children as a high school mathematics teacher at Weequahic High School. In 1997, she sought to impact a larger scale of students by serving as the district’s Mathematics Supervisor. In this role, 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. Currently she supports mathematics at the district level and will serve as the Principal of Science Park High School in September 2022.
Principal Gearhart has been a recipient of the following awards:
- January 2014: Leadership Matters Award from the Newark Trust for Education
- September 2014: Stretching Minds Award from the Newark Yoga Movement in September
- April 2015: Ercell Watson Memorial Award for Distinguished Service from Montclair State University
- June 2016: My Principal Matters Award
- June 2017: Outstanding Leadership Award
- November 2017: Academic Achievement Award for Highest SGP in Mathematics
- April 2018: Attendance Innovation Award
- June 2018: Educator of the Year Award
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.