MU - HHRS Partnership

Henry Hudson Regional School Partners with Monmouth University; Forming Communications Academy
Posted on 05/01/2016
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(Photo, left to right: Gail Woods, BOE member; HHRS Principal Lenore Kingsmore; Dr. Aaron Ferguson, Chair, Dept. of Communication; Dr. Kenneth Womack, Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences; Mr. James Gregg, HHRS Digital Video teacher; Dr. Susan Compton, Superintendent of Tri-District Schools)


Henry Hudson Regional School (HHRS), a middle and high school with a combined population of approximately 325 students, is in the process of creating a unique strategic partnership with Monmouth University to provide students with real-world experiences while expanding educational opportunities for students. The initial focus for Henry Hudson Regional is to create a partnership with Monmouth University’s Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences, specifically with their Department of Communications.

For HHRS, this is a natural fit; they currently have 63 students enrolled in their own digital video program – almost 20% of the student population – and have received 24 awards and recognition for their work since 2011. Mr. James Gregg, the teacher who leads this program, along with Dr. Susan Compton, Superintendent of Tri-District Schools, Mrs. Lenore Kingsmore, HHRS Principal, and Gail Woods, Board of Education member, recently met with Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, Kenneth Womack, PhD, to solidify the relationship. Mr. Gregg said of the meeting, “I’m thrilled to see the tools available at Monmouth University; the TV, radio and digital studios complements what our students would get to utilize at HHRS and it would be a natural next step for our third year digital video students – who focus mainly on development of their portfolios, while continuing leadership roles in student-led productions and projects – to participate in an intern program here as well as a capstone project. In their senior year at HHRS, Digital Video 3 students get to sharpen their technical proficiency and creative output. If these same students could be mentored by students at Monmouth University who are running the radio or TV station, I believe it would truly inspire them to take their studies to the next level.”

Dr. Susan Compton, Superintendent of Tri-District Schools, concurs, “Currently, HHRS has partnerships with other higher learning facilities and these opportunities have truly enhanced the offerings we can provide to our students. As a smaller school, we are forging these alliances not only to continue to expand our academic opportunities but to also show our students that their aspirations can be limitless. Monmouth University gives them that window to see their future in a very tangible way.”

As part of this initiative, HHRS students will be able to utilize media facilities on both schools’ campuses and Lakehouse Recording Studio (Asbury Park), work on a multifaceted assignment that serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience for students (a capstone project), and receive mentorship for students that meet specific criteria.

“At no other time has the educational system been so fluid; we can be extremely creative with our internal resources as well as external opportunities. There is no reason our students can’t have every opportunity possible; a partnership with Monmouth University allows us to be very nimble in what we can provide. Not many schools can say the same. Our students aren’t just getting a private education in a public school setting, they are getting a personalized education in a public school setting!”, said Principal Lenore Kingsmore.

left to right: Principal Lenore Kingsmore, student Julia Forsyth, Dr. Womack, Dr. Susan Compton, music and band director, Mr. Jeff Starr, Board of Ed member Gail Woods, Curriculum Director, Mr. Daniel Loughran, student Michael McCahon, Digital Video teacher, Mr. James Gregg

Dr. Womack presents to students at HHRS (Left to right: Principal Lenore Kingsmore, student Julia Forsyth, Dr. Womack, Dr. Susan Compton, music and band director, Mr. Jeff Starr, Board of Ed member Gail Woods, Curriculum Director, Mr. Daniel Loughran, student Michael McCahon, Digital Video teacher, Mr. James Gregg)

By taking on this unique partnership, it’s clear that both schools win: Henry Hudson Regional gets to expand their curriculum & student opportunities without incurring costs and Monmouth University gets to provide innovative opportunities for high school students to interact and collaborate with university staff and students, incentivizing them to continue with higher education. In addition, Dr. Womack brings with him unique insights & perspective; he has extensive expertise in music and the arts and continues to retain Monmouth University as a coveted GRAMMY affiliate – one of only four University Affiliates of the GRAMMY Museum, and the only one on the East Coast.

Though the partnerships and infrastructures are in their infantile stages, both parties are excited about providing this opportunity for students. “I am looking forward to seeking out long-range partnerships to the mutual benefit of both Henry Hudson Regional School and Monmouth University students. It was a great privilege to visit Henry Hudson and learn more about the exciting programs being offered in communications and the arts. I’m excited about anything we can do to give the students opportunities to start really getting involved. It also gives us a chance to connect in a really meaningful way with our community,” said Womack.

Henry Hudson Regional and Monmouth University are shaping the future of education with a common goal: providing broader, hands-on educational experiences, greater intellectual opportunities, and concrete, career-ready skills so that students are wholly prepared to compete in a global economy. This partnership provides an essential foundation in preparing students to be the leaders of tomorrow. “There is extreme value in experiential learning, and we are very excited to be able to provide the students of Henry Hudson Regional with this wonderful opportunity. This type of partnership can only happen with a school that has a clear vision of the future of education; we believe that Monmouth University is one of those schools and we are honored to be working with them to meet the goals of our students,” said Dr. Compton.

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