Harrington, who has been acting commissioner since September, is a former teacher and administrator. She began working for the state Department of Education in 2012 as director of academic standards.
Former Education Commissioner David Hespe, who became acting commissioner in February 2014 and was confirmed in December 2014, resigned to work for the Schwartz Simon Edelstein & Celso law firm in Whippany.
On January 23, Gov. Christie also appointed two new members to the state Board of Education, Nina Washington, of Galloway, and Joseph Ricca Jr. of Morristown.
The New Jersey Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, previously praised Harrington's background as a teacher, saying it will serve her well as commissioner.
In 2012, Harrington came to the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) as the Director of Academic Standards, where she led the Department's outreach to teachers and school leaders on how to align their local curriculum with New Jersey's academic standards.
Prior to becoming Acting Commissioner, Kimberley served for two years as Assistant Commissioner/Chief Academic Officer for the NJDOE.
In that role, she oversaw the NJDOE's Division of Teaching and Learning, which has the responsibilities of the Division of Early Childhood Education, the offices of Primary Education, Intermediate and Secondary Education, Teaching and Learning Support, Academic Initiatives and Fiscal Accountability, Career Readiness, Educational Technology, and School Innovation, as well as the Amistad Commission and the Italian American Heritage Commission.
Harrington also was in charge of implementing New Jersey's Student Learning Standards, with the ultimate goal of providing a path for students to become college- and career-ready.
Throughout her career as a classroom teacher, district administrator, and in her roles at the NJDOE, Kimberley has always maintained a focus on the importance of the cycle of teaching and learning and its impact on improved outcomes for students.
She continues to place an emphasis on building a strong climate and culture as a means of providing a solid foundation for sustainable progress and making a difference in children's lives.
Acting Commissioner Harrington earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education from Gordon College, and a Master of Arts in Education Leadership from The College of New Jersey. She holds New Jersey certifications as a teacher, supervisor, and principal.
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