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2019 Gala Honoree: Susana A. Perón, Deputy Superintendent of Paterson Public Schools

Susana A. Peron is the daughter of Berta Rodriguez and Mel Alvarez who immigrated to this country from Havana, Cuba. She was born in Barnet Hospital and grew up in Paterson. She is married to Robert Peron, they are proud parents of Alexa Rae and Robert Austin Peron.

Mrs. Peron attended elementary school in Paterson and Passaic County Technical and Vocational High School. Later, she completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology/Elementary Education concentration in Early Childhood at William Paterson University. Susana attained a Masters in Bilingual/Bi-Cultural Studies and another Masters in Administration and Leadership from New Jersey City State University. As a lifelong learner, she is pursuing a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Northeastern University and is a member of Kappa Delta Pi (International Honor Society for Educators).

Her mission to foster success in the lives of all children led her to her educational career. Susana’s love of children and her desire to give back to her community prompted an interest in working for Paterson Public Schools. In 1986, she began her career in Paterson as an Instructional Assistant at Paterson Public School 18.

During her tenure at Paterson Public Schools, she has served in many capacities inclusive of over 14 years’ experience in Early Childhood Education. In 2011, Mrs. Peron was promoted to Assistant Superintendent. In July 2017, she became the first Hispanic Interim Deputy Superintendent and was officially appointed to the title in December of 2018.

Her transformational leadership and dedication to Paterson is seen as she has successfully spearheaded several programs for the district. She helped to develop a Newcomers Middle School Program and is currently working on a Newcomers High School to meet the needs of newly immigrated students who have little or no formal education. Her belief in accelerated learning led to the development a Gifted and Talented Academy at School 28 and an International Baccalaureate Program at International High School. The International Baccalaureate Program is the first IB World School in Passaic County and one of only 15 schools in the entire state. Since their inception, these programs have grown and their success can be seen through the students’ high achievements.

She is a true servant leader who works to provide access and equity to all learners not only for the district but statewide. She has served on various state and local committees to develop concepts for curriculum, facilities and assessment practices in education. She participates on NJDOE and higher education committees to advance opportunities and experiences for all children. Mrs. Peron led the work in Academic Services and continues to work on the Transition Plan to attain local control for the school district.

A sign of a great leader is the ability to inspire greatness in others. Mrs. Peron embodies this quality by always working to develop and grow future leaders. She has participated in a variety of Leadership Institutes in conjunction with agencies such as William Paterson University and Harvard University.

Her continued dedication and drive to make a difference is fueled by her mantra, “[b]e the change you wish to see in the world” (Mahatma Gandhi).

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