Welcome New Superintendent Mrs. Encarnacao!

Juliette Viera

The 2022-2023 school year introduced current KHS students to the first look of some major changes and innovations that are just getting underway. Whether it was furniture added to the library or new equipment added to the programs, the high school has seen new changes happen left and right. One of the district’s biggest changes however is our newly appointed Superintendent, Flora Encarnacao! Encarnacao replaced Patricia Blood last July, and is looking forward to seeing what will become of Kearny schools. 

At the very end of September, we were able to get in touch with Encarnacao for an exclusive interview speaking on subjects such as what will await for KHS and Introducing our new superintendent to the students of KHS. 

Daughter of immigrant parents from Portugal, Encarnacao has been a familiar face to the Kearny district for the past 21 years. With two master degrees in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Administration, she has worked her way up the ranks. Encarnacao shared with The Kearnian that one of her first positions in the school district  was as a bilingual teacher for ESL students. She expressed how much she finds those students extremely special to her and how her parents’ story of coming to a whole new country reflects off what she sees in her students.

“I think for me my pride rests in seeing how proud my parents are. Seeing how extremely happy and satisfied they are and proud that I have this position and being able to give them that, it’s worth it.” said Encarnacao. “Hard work, nothing is given to you. You need a lot of dedication and a lot of perseverance.”

Encarnacao leans on her experience as assistant superintendent to better understand her new role. She was already familiar with attending board meetings and working with colleagues. 

Encarnacao sat down with The Kearnian for some Q&A. 


What do you hope KHS looks like in about 5+ years from now?

  • “I would like to expand and enhance the programs that we offer and continue to build upon them. There is so much that we offer already that makes us so unique compared to other high schools, or the typical high schools in the area. So while we continue to expand that I think the other part of that is building more community awareness of what we do offer and what we are about and what our students accomplish. I don’t think we’ve done enough to put that out there so that more and more people are aware of the great things that are happening here.” 

What was or is your first accomplishment as superintendent?

  • “So we have two student board representatives that were appointed, Ava Hyams and Ravyn Mejias. I want to really get to know the students. I want to build relationships with them and I want to hear from them on how we can best support them. So all the adults in the room have all these ideas and think about what we can do saying this could be great or we did that. I want more student voices planning that and giving us these ideas, saying here’s how you can best support us, especially seniors, now that it’s their last year. I am hoping they could contribute their perspective. It is important and vital. I want the students to reach out to me, whether it’s through email, or whatever means. I’ll have lunch with you in the cafeteria. I really want to develop those relationships. Whatever it is, I want to really get to know the kids and hear from them and hear how we can best help them.” 

Aside from her expectations and goals during her time as superintendent I took the opportunity to ask about what’s going on in the high school, for example the new furniture in the library and other changes happening. 

Would you be able to tell us what else will be coming in and where this change is coming? 

  • So the change is coming from us wanting to continue to be innovative and modern in terms of the environment for the students. So the environment is very important. It’s crucial to the experience you’re going to have and how you’re going to learn. What you see in the library is part of what we’re thinking. If you’re feeling good you’re going to receive what you’re learning better. We might even add furniture to the atrium that perch area, that could possibly be a senior privilege.” 

Some final words she devotedly shared to the students of KHS were “I want them to know that they have people that they can reach out to if they need help, if they even just need someone to listen and that we are listening. I want to listen. I want them to know they can achieve anything they can and that we are here for them. Their opinion matters, I want them to be part of the decisions we make.”