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Principal's Bio

Hello and welcome to my page. I am Mr. Mai, Principal of Central Elementary School. As an educator, I pride myself on getting to know all of my students' names, their likes and dislikes, and a little about what makes them tick. This year, I am going to provide you a little more about me, everything from my first name (while I love to tell the students it's Mister, it's actually Michael) to my educational and personal accomplishments. I hope by sharing some of my background, it will allow students and families a small glimpse into who I am and from where I came.

Name: Michael Mai

Birth date: July 1, 1977

Born and raised in Palisades Park, New Jersey (Bergen County)

Graduated Palisades Park HS in 1994 (little known fact: I skipped 3rd grade)

Attended New York University (1994-1996); Graduated Montclair State University (1999)

Before I was a teacher, I was: a sports writer, an actor (little known fact: I was in a movie and a Tostitos commercial), and an editor.

Became a teacher at Alexander D. Sullivan School (PS #30) in Jersey City, NJ in September 2002; Taught grades 3, 4 and 5, general ed and special ed (2002-2007)

Married Ms. Mai on December 31, 2004; Moved to Pennsylvania; Two daughters: Abigail and Sarah, born in 2006 and 2009

Taught 4th grade at Hatchery Hill School in Hackettstown (2007-2012...little known fact, I was Hatchery Hill's Teacher of the Year in 2011)

Graduated from University of Scranton with Masters in Educational Administration (2008)

Named Assistant Principal of Hackettstown Middle School (2012)

Named Principal of Central School (2014)

Some of my accomplishments as an educator:

  • Implemented the Jaguar Stars program for positive behavior
  • Researched and brought the Choose Love Program to GMRSD; developed the Golden Ticket reward program alongside our Character Education Committee
  • Increased home-school communication using Twitter and Remind
  • Successfully applied to become first Warren County school district member of Innovate NJ program
  • Introduced mindfulness practices and daily “brain breaks” for staff and students
  • Collaborated to expand special education programs at Central School
  • Coordinated the opening of two inclusive pre-school programs for 2016-17
  • Facilitated conversion to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Journeys language arts and Go Math programs
  • Implemented Just Right Reading program, Student of the Month initiative, Professional Learning Communities (PLC)
  • Uphold a commitment to educational excellence by establishing and promoting an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust

Hobbies and Interests (outside of school):

Spending time with my family, traveling, reading autobiographies and non-fiction books about history, NJ Devils hockey, NY Giants football, Chicago Cubs baseball, Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, U2, Counting Crows, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, fishing, watching funny movies and Henry Danger!