Tammy Jenkins

Dr. Tammy Jenkins has served for 13 years as principal of Sunnymead Elementary School, a suburban K-4 school with over 400 students. A firm believer that professional learning is the best way to address student needs, Dr. Jenkins has invested in staff-wide professional development to support the implementation of programs and practices aimed at elevating instruction for all students. Understanding the importance of early intervention, she created an extended Kindergarten program for at-risk students, a model that has been replicated by all other Title I schools in the district after making demonstrated gains toward closing the achievement gap. She has also facilitated the development of Sunnymead’s RTI program, carried out in daily “What I Need” periods that allow for dynamic, responsive small group instruction. Jenkins supports the program by participating in monthly data review and securing resources that maximize teachers’ capacity to differentiate instruction, including 1:1 devices with supportive software. Despite having the highest poverty rate in its district, Sunnymead has been identified as an “outlier” school and, under Jenkins’ leadership has consistently outperformed schools with similar demographics. In 2015 and 2016, Sunnymead was named among the top 100 elementary schools in New Jersey by Niche. Dr. Jenkins is the 2017 recipient of the NAACP Distinguished Educator Award. She holds a doctorate from Nova Southeastern University, an M.A. from Kean University, and a B.A. from Douglass College, Rutgers University.