Joan Conway

Joan Conway

Early in my life as I moved through the various grade levels, I learned that I enjoyed helping on bulletin displays, student government, president of the Future Teachers of America but I also learned to observe certain teachers that I found special.  I was impressed with those teachers because they led me to realize I wanted to be a teacher as they were.  I wanted to create an environment that would help children feel good about themselves-feel successful. When starting my post-secondary education at Newark State College which became Kean University, I was elected to the college’s student governing council which placed me in a seat on the college’s finance board.  These experiences were enlightening and rewarding as I worked toward my B.A. in Fine Arts Education.  After graduation I began teaching in Piscataway Township and continued to work on learning through earning a M.A. in Fine Arts Education and M.A. in Administration and Supervision.

As I gained knowledge, I began many new school initiatives in the middle school where I first worked; some were initiating a yearbook class through learning photography and an architecture class. As a project for my M.A. in Administration and Supervision I created the idea of Daily Calling our absentees and began supervising student teachers.

Eventually in Piscataway, I moved into a supervisory role in my job as an art supervisor which later led to an administrative position, Director of the Visual Practical and Performing Arts, for the school district. My responsibilities began with learning zero based budgeting, K-12 scheduling for those areas I was supervising and developing a gifted and talented program.  Under my supervision the district earned funding from a national Goals 2000 Grant for 3 years and it was expanded for 5 additional years for the success the program brought to the district. I also managed the Career Path Perkins Grant which was directed to the practical arts areas for our high school programming. 

Other educational experiences included membership in the NJPSA, where I was honored as Supervisor of the Year; AANJ President, Vice-President, Governor’s Award Chair; and NJDOE Committees including Curriculum Assessment and NJ Visual and Performing State Standards.  

After I moved to South Amboy in 2009, retirement came a few years later but when a possible next step was presented, I continued my work in education at the university level, NJCU.  I taught an education class and supervised my students in the field. For a few years, I also taught for the MC Arts and Education Center for MS and HS students who were chosen to partake in this gifted and talented program. During those years I  was also asked to serve as a Commissioner for the MC Cultural and Heritage Commission which helped lead to funding in bringing back a MC Teen Arts Festival which showcased our student artists and provided workshops to enhance their skills. In our city I was able to initiate the city’s first Artsfest 2012, which continued for two years and was brought back in 2019.  It will resume in 2021. Presently, I am a board member of the revised arts group in our city, the South Amboy Arts Alliance and Director of the South Amboy Arts Gallery.  Over the past few years, I have been honored to serve on the South Amboy Board of Education.

Email: [email protected]