A Gift to the Gifted

Seeking to make an impact on multiple generations, principal Nicole Moore champions gifted education.

Nicole Moore

Indian Mills School
Shamong, New Jersey

The stats:

  • Years as a principal: 18


  • Bryn Mawr College, A.B., English
  • Harvard Graduate School of Education, Ed.M.
  • Spelman College, exchange student

School details:

  • Grade span: Pre-K–4
  • Approximately 400 students
  • Gifted & Talented and STEM Buddies programs
  • Participated in a cultural exchange with the Kenya Connect
  • pen pal program
  • Makerspace in library

Nicole Moore prides herself on creating a nurturing learning environment in which all students can grow academically, socially, and emotionally, including those showing exceptional potential. Moore was named Administrator of the Year by the New Jersey Association for Gifted Children in 2015 for her stewardship of the Indian Mills Academic Gifted Education (IMAGE) program, and she once encouraged students to read more by promising to sleep on the roof of the school if they read 1,000 books in a month (they did). Active in NAESP as a state representative, Moore has also served as president of the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association. Here’s what she had to say about gifted education, keeping in touch with the community, and more:

On what makes her school’s gifted program special

Our gifted program, IMAGE, is so outstanding because it is headed by one of the most talented G&T [gifted and talented] teachers I have had the pleasure of working with, Karen Clementi. Karen has a passion for ensuring that gifted learners are: (1) properly, accurately, and fairly identified; and (2) provided with appropriate programming that meets their needs. She and I worked closely on the identification process as well as dedicated time to providing gifted programming to our students. Because G&T is not a protected class in New Jersey the way special education is, it was important that these special students’ intellectual needs were met.

On maintaining a strong relationship with the community

I have had the honor of serving as a long-term principal at Indian Mills School. I have the pleasure of educating and nurturing multiple family members and have developed relationships with families over the years. It really is great to see how much our school community means to them.

On why she became a principal

I come from a family of educators—both my mom and dad started their educational careers as classroom teachers and ended their careers as administrators. The last thing I wanted to do was be a teacher! However, as I was growing up, I watched how much they loved what they did and their students, too! My father, in particular, was able to make an impact on many boys who had no fathers by serving as a model and coach for them. How could I turn down the chance to make an impact on a future generation?!

On what she would do if she couldn’t be a principal

I love to shop, so I would probably be a personal shopper/buyer.

On the best advice she has ever received

“Go for it! The only way you won’t get it is if you don’t try,” from my parents, Charles and Lorene Moore.

On what she does outside of work

I am a huge sports mom, so I play Uber driver for my son. He is an all-around athlete who has wrestled, run cross-country, and played basketball and lacrosse. We have settled into lacrosse and basketball, and I am his No. 1 fan! I truly enjoy driving him and his teammates around and cheering them on.

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