The NJ Summer Tutoring Corps Program, an eight-week high-dosage tutoring program funded by the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund and Overdeck Family Foundation, has named Katherine Bassett as its inaugural director. She began this role on May 24, taking the lead on implementing a tutoring program which is expected to reach thousands of K–5 New Jersey students who have experienced pandemic-related learning loss.
Bassett, who was named NJ Teacher of the Year in 2000, was previously CEO of Tall Poppy LLC, working with clients across the higher education spectrum in leadership development with a specific focus on teacher leadership and principal leadership, equity and bias awareness training, and standards revision and development. She was the founding President and CEO of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year, co-facilitated the development of the Model Code of Educator Ethics, and has led the development of the Teacher Leader Model Standards, now used in over 20 countries.
“In education, there is nothing more important than ensuring that students enter a new school year energized, excited about learning, and equipped with the necessary skills for success,” Bassett said. “Growing the practice of our pre-service educators while providing academic and socio-emotional support for students as they build new skills during the summer post-COVID is a strong win-win.”
In her new role, Bassett will oversee the recruitment of tutors from teacher preparation programs at TCNJ and other New Jersey colleges and universities, as well as substitute teachers, paraprofessionals, and community members with the appropriate background. Tutors will be matched with children attending summer programming at Boys and Girls Clubs in New Jersey, YMCAs, and other community organizations for eight weeks of mathematics instruction.
Bassett’s research and policy work has focused on teacher leadership, professional career continua in education, engagement of educators in the policy process, social/emotional learning, and equity issues. Her assessment work has focused on educator performance assessments, educator evaluation, and assessing social/emotional skills.
“Katherine has spent her career advocating for students to receive the highest-quality of education regardless of their zip code or family circumstances,” said Suzanne McCotter, dean of TCNJ’s School of Education. “Her intense focus on student learning combined with her proven track record of implementing and executing large scale projects makes her the perfect person for this moment and this program.”
The NJ Summer Tutoring Corps Program is made possible through a combined $2.4 million grant from the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund and Overdeck Family Foundation. It is expected to accelerate student learning by addressing learning gaps, as well as help students recover academically and socio-emotionally from the pandemic.
— Luke Sacks