Miss Sabo & Mr. Pease share the Lighthouse Award Plaque with other NJDoE dignitaries at PHs

As reported earlier today, Palmyra High School received a visit from the Acting Commissioner of Education, Angelica Allen-McMillan and other dignitaries from the New Jersey Department of Education.   Dr. Peter Mazzagatti, Director of the Office of Educator Effectiveness, gave the welcome remarks to a small crowd of invited guests.  Mr. Raymond Marini, Burlington County's Interim Executive Superintendent spoke briefly and introduced the Acting Commissioner. (all pictured above)

It should be noted that the Commissioner warmly greeted each guest as she arrived, welcomed them, and took a moment to recognize their contributions to this honor.   In her speech, she dove deeper, noting that, “you can truly sense the collective investment that you all are making in this school district which is representative of the town.” Her energy rose as she said that exceptional programs like ours are an opportunity for her to celebrate the school’s commitment to their students. She then conferred the award on Mr. Mark Pease, our Interim Superintendent.

Admiring the plaque, Mr. Pease recognized that success such as this does not happen overnight and takes years of building, and thanked our previous Superintendent, Dr. Brian McBride. He also recognized the cooperation of our Board of Education,  Mayor Gina Tait, Council President, Tim Howard and Councilman (and former BoE member) Mr. John Liebe.  The award itself reads: “The 2023 Lighthouse Award presented to Palmyra School District for Excellence in Increasing Equity in AP/IB Enrollment” (Advanced Placement). With hearty congratulations to Ms. Lisa Sabo as Principal for the past 6 years, he then passed the award over to her.


Miss Sabo spoke of the overwhelming sense of pride that the community and school possesses. She noted her PalmyraPride and humbly thanked all on the admin and faculty teams for their roles in achieving success on many fronts. 

Finally, senior and Student Representative to the Board of Education, Miss Olivia Ottenbreit, took to the podium to share her sense of pride in the little school that has big things to offer.  As a student that has taken full advantage of our extracurricular offerings, she has also thrived in her academic achievements throughout her time in Palmyra School District, especially at Palmyra High School. 

After the close of the ceremony, the members of the NJDOE team took a tour of a few classrooms, guided by Miss Ottenbreit.  Commissioner Allen-McMillan took the opportunity in each room to ask students, “What can I do for you?” “What do you think your school, your state needs?”  Answers ranged from cafeteria space to better desks to more bathroom access and went so far as to include a suggestion for 4-day school weeks for more time for study and reflection.