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Biography - Dr. Neely Hackett

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Dr. Neely Hackett

Dr. Neely Hackett has experienced a successful career in education that spans 21 years in various administrative roles such as assistant principal, principal, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, and Superintendent. She has served in districts of various socio-economic factor groups and has dedicated her career to ensuring that all students have access to a quality education. 

Dr. Neely Hackett graduated from Penn State University in State College, Pennsylvania, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Logistics. During this time, she was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, served as president of the Minority Recruitment Task Force, and mentored incoming freshmen students. Dr. Hackett also earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from St. Peter’s College in Jersey City and a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. 

Dr. Hackett began her career in education as an elementary teacher in Irvington and Teaneck prior to serving as an Assistant Principal for the Irvington Public Schools. She was then promoted to Principal of Union Avenue Middle School and subsequently Principal of Irvington High School. Dr. Hackett then became the Principal of Franklin High School in Somerset. As she continued to advance in her career, Dr. Hackett returned to Irvington wherein she was entrusted with the responsibilities of overseeing district-wide curriculum, instructional practices, assessment, and special programs as the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. She was soon promoted to the esteemed position of Superintendent of Schools where she served for eight years. 

As a committed educator and leader, Dr. Hackett has been the recipient of the following awards and recognitions for her work in the field of education:

- Irvington Unit of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Education Award (2019)

- Giblin Association Community Service Award for Education (2018)

- Reformed La Schekina Christian Church-Community Service Award (2018)

- Essex County Freeholder-At-Large Lebby C. Jones 2018 Outstanding Woman’s Award (2018)

- National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., Delta Pi Chapter Outstanding Service Award (2017)

- National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., Delta Pi Chapter Citation Award (2015)

- National Organization of African-American Administrators Educational Leadership Award (2015)

- Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders 2015 African-American History Month Honoree (2015)

- Neshanic United Methodist Church Leadership Award (2014)

- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Committee of Irvington, NJ Community Service Award (2014)

- Irvington Municipal Council Women’s History Month Honoree (2013)

- Tony Vauss Civic Association Hero Award (2009)

- Essex County Civic Club Excellence in Education Award (2007)

- Irvington Municipal Council Women’s History Month Honoree (2000)

On April 20, 2020, Dr. Hackett proudly assumed the role of Superintendent of the Willingboro School District where she is committed to ensuring that all students are provided with a quality educational experience that prepares them to be college and career ready.