Celebrating Monica DeTuro—Principal, Mentor, Friend
Alpha School in Jackson NJ, is a very special place. There is a level of commitment, dedication, and warmth that is felt by anyone who walks through its doors. Going above and beyond what is required is something that Alpha’s faculty and staff do every day and Principal Monica DeTuro has been at the heart of that philosophy for 29 years, 20 of those years as the principal of Alpha School. Beloved by students and teachers alike, Principal DeTuro is retiring, passing the torch to Mr. John Gonzalez, formerly the supervisor of instruction at Alpha School.
Monica DeTuro was the first teacher hired to work at the Alpha School in 1980 and she taught various special education classes at Alpha for her first five years. Those who know Monica will not be surprised to learn that the administration recognized her leadership qualities early on in her time at Alpha and encouraged her to pursue a Masters Degree in Supervision and Curriculum Development at Georgian Court University in Lakewood, NJ. That degree enabled her to become the vice-principal of the Alpha school in 1985. She became principal in 1999 and is the longest standing principal at Alpha School.
Monica has always wanted to be a teacher and was deeply inspired as a child by her own mother who was also a teacher. She has fond memories of watching her mother teach, and was particularly moved by how dedicated her mother was to the students, and how involved she was with them, both inside and outside of the classroom. Monica embraced these same traits early on in her teaching career and has modeled them for her faculty throughout her time at Alpha School.
Monica has some words of wisdom for anyone currently working in or entering the field of special education – “be open”. Monica stresses the importance of recognizing that every child and every family is unique and seeing things from their perspective. Listening to families’ concerns, issues, and problems and offering them the support they need is second nature to Monica. Knowing how to find humor in things helps as well and it’s a skill and a tool Monica has used throughout her career.
As a principal, Monica felt that one of her most important responsibilities was to be supportive of her staff and provide them with the tools and resources they require to help students reach their full potential. Monica also highlights some of the many positive changes she has seen within Alpha School and the special education field that have helped students and teacher alike succeed. For example, iPads help children who are non-verbal communicate more easily. And there are more opportunities for students to work and be part of their community than ever before.
Monica has no plans to slow down in retirement. She will continue to dedicate her time to children, working with those who have lost a parent. She’ll also volunteer with Holiday Express, a non-profit organization that delivers music, food, gifts, financial support, and friendship to those with the greatest need during the holidays.
Monica feels blessed to do what she has always wanted to do for so many years. And the faculty and students at Alpha School feel grateful for her heart-centered support and leadership over the years. She will be missed, but her lessons and legacy will be remembered well into the future.
Alpha School an private special education school in New Jersey
Our Mission at The Alpha School is to help all of our special needs students with the learning, social, language, and behavioral support they deserve. Our highly skilled staff are committed daily to helping each student to becoming the best they can while providing a safe and nurturing educational environment.
We would be more than happy to discuss your child’s specific needs and challenges, so please call us at 732.370.1150, or request a tour of Alpha School of Jackson, NJ located just minutes off of Route 9 and Route 195 in Ocean County.
— Monica DeTuro, Principal-Alpha School, Jackson, NJ