Jennifer Mojica Assumes Position as New Student Services Coordinator in New Paltz Elementary Schools
New Paltz–Jennifer Mojica has been appointed as the new Coordinator of Student Services for Grades K-5 in the New Paltz Central School District (NPCSD). She is assisting Principal Ross Hogan of Duzine Elementary and Principal Sean Inglee of Lenape Elementary by undertaking the responsibilities of an assistant principal in both school buildings. Mojica will also conduct 504 plan meetings and oversee the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) process.
Mojica has a diverse background in child development and learning. She previously worked with young adults with clinical diagnoses at a psychiatric facility in Putnam County, where she helped patients post-treatment. Jennifer also earned a Master of Science in Communication Disorders from SUNY New Paltz and has worked as a speech-language pathologist within several school districts, including Brewster, Hawthorne Cedar Knolls, Arlington, and Newburgh. She earned her Bachelors in Science in Liberal Arts and Science with a minor in Psychology from Utica College.
Mojica explained that working with children has always been one of her passions and that her new post connects the dots of her professional background. “As a speech-language pathologist, I helped give children a voice to access the curriculum; as a coach, I guided children to work together as a team, regardless of winning or losing,” Mojica said, explaining that she has coached soccer and led small groups of Cub Scouts in the town of Newburgh. “I can take all of these experiences and infuse them into the guiding principles of the District,” she said.
Mojica said she enjoys empowering children by helping them develop the skills necessary to access the NPCSD curriculum. She explained how her K-12 teachers from childhood positively influenced her, and she valued the security they fostered and the safe spaces they created for her to comfortably ask questions. Mojica believes that establishing rapport is the key to cultivating safe spaces for both students and colleagues and that the success of her new role depends upon forming meaningful connections and bonds. “The bonds that we make with our colleagues lead to more effective and collaborative workspaces, which improve student outcomes,” she said. Mojica added that she hopes to be a “support and resource academically and emotionally for all stakeholders” at the elementary level.
Mojica believes that forming these connections and interpersonal relationships is critical to her goal of helping students who have experienced learning loss due to COVID-19. She believes that students are benefitting from this year’s reintroduction to their school-based routines, such as transitioning between classes, having the opportunity to eat lunch with their peers, and even playing together at recess.
Mojica will also be checking in with students throughout the year and connect with parents and families to bridge the home-school gap. She said she would work diligently with their teachers and parents to help students with challenging home or family situations by providing tiered interventions to help them monitor and self-evaluate their own social and emotional needs.
Outside of work, Mojica said she likes to spend time with her children, who are active in various sports. She also enjoys hiking in the Hudson Valley with her family, listening to motivational podcasts, and reading self-help books that encourage personal growth.
The Duzine Elementary School Principal Ross Hogan said everyone is happy to have Mojica join the team. “She is quickly forming meaningful relationships with students, families, and staff,” adding that Mojica’s experience and expertise are already assets for the District. The Lenape Elementary School Principal concurred with Hogan’s sentiments. “Mojica has quickly become part of the community at Lenape,” he said. “She is a valuable addition and is supportive of our initiatives.”