Student Life

The Office of Student Life oversees the work of school social workers and related district programs.

Numerous factors can contribute to a student becoming at-risk at any level in his or her academic growth. In its support of the district's mission to afford the highest level of teaching and learning, and build an effective and efficient community of learning and character, the Office of Student Life has a cadre of intervention and referral programs and services readily available. Students exhibiting learning or behavioral problems are assisted through the implementation of numerous early intervention strategies. In an effort to alleviate all issues that could prevent or interfere with success and academic growth, certain resources are provided to students and families. These resources, examples of which are listed below, build the foundation for positive behavior, health and wellness and sound academic performance.

Contact Info
Maria Ortiz
Executive Director


Office Location
765 Broad Street
Newark, NJ 07102

Phone: 973-733-8281
Fax: 973-327-6144

Mission Statement

To advance student success and close equity gaps by ensuring students attend school every day. Our mission is to support students’ learning through innovation and forward thinking experiences to Love, Inspire, Focus, and Excel.

  • Bullying Prevention and Suicide Awareness
  • Character Education Initiative
  • Community Collaborations
  • Community Resource Directory
  • Crisis Response Team
  • Dream Leader-Peer Leadership Programs
  • Mental Health
  • Resources For Parents
  • Student Assistance and Abuse Prevention

Student Life Staff

Maria J. Ortiz
Maria J. Ortiz

Executive Director
m1ortiz@nullnps.k12.nj.us
973-424-4381

Edwin Mendez
Edwin Mendez

Directorof Attendance
emendez@nullnps.k12.nj.us
973-807-3786

Courtney R. Johnson
Courtney R. Johnson

Supervisor of Student Life
cjohnson@nullnps.k12.nj.us
973-733-7050

Jessica Silva-Olmo
Jessica Silva-Olmo

Supervisor of Social Worker
jsilva@nullnps.k12.nj.us
973-807-3793

Shamere Williams
Shamere Williams

Supervisor of School Counselors - Elementary
s21williams@nullnps.k12.nj.us
973-807-3794

Vernon Pullins, Jr.
Vernon Pullins, Jr.

Supervisor of School Counselors - High School
vpullins@nullnps.k12.nj.us
973-938-7345

Keisha Gifford-Washington
Keisha Gifford-Washington

Management Specialist
kgifford@nullnps.k12.nj.us
973-733-8281

Gerald Samuels
Gerald Samuels

Home Instruction Principal
gsamuels@nullnps.k12.nj.us
973-733-8281

Karen Fennell
Karen Fennell

HIB Coordinator/Student Discipline
kfennell@nullnps.k12.nj.us
973-938-7548

Darrell Major
Darrell Major

Truancy Task Force
dmajor@nullnps.k12.nj.us
973-733-8281

Rashon Dwight
Rashon Dwight

Social Worker
r1dwight@nullnps.k12.nj.us
973-733-8281

Ana Osoria
Ana Osoria

Specialist for Homeless Management
a1osoria@nullnps.k12.nj.us
973-424-4445

Bianca Smith
Bianca Smith

Clerk
b5smith@nullnps.k12.nj.us
973-733-8281