Christopher M. Turnbull
Bear Tavern Elementary School
Hopewell Valley Regional School District
Titusville, New Jersey
Christopher M. Turnbull reveres the opportunity to “change the way children see themselves and the world around them” and aims to motivate teachers to provide world-changing educational experiences to all students. In his seven years as principal of Bear Tavern Elementary School, Turnbull has implemented multiple innovative programs that make the school a unique place to teach and learn. Leveraging grant and PTO funding and collaborations with over 20 community partners, Turnbull led a committee to transform an unused courtyard into a multi-use outdoor learning area. Equipped with a greenhouse, raised garden beds, pollinator meadows, a pond, a stage, and a traditional learning area, this outdoor classroom now offers a flexible space where students can connect with nature and apply science concepts, inviting students to play a more active, empowered role in their own learning. Turnbull likewise invites students to play an active role in their wellbeing by implementing Wellness Days that model varying strategies for self-care. Turnbull has also initiated a more dynamic and engaging approach to morning announcements, using the daily practice as a gateway into the school’s social-emotional learning curriculum while providing unified messaging during a time of many transitions. Turnbull holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and History and a Master of Education in Leadership from the College of New Jersey. He is pursuing a Doctor of Education degree from Rider University.