MyFDU Alumni Profile

Simone Portera, BA'07, MAT'08

What are your fondest memories of your FDU student days?

Organizing and running Homecoming with the Florham Programming Committee (FPC) and performing at basketball and football games with the Devils Dance Team (DDT). Leading and participating in those two groups was extremely rewarding and helped shape extra-curricular opportunities for students at the College of Florham. I am honored to have been a part of creating those organizations that are still crucial to FDU today.

How did your FDU experiences prepare you for your career?

Both the academic and social opportunities that FDU provided shaped me from a quiet high-school student into a young professional leader. With the guidance of the professors and staff at FDU, I always had strong advocates and mentors to push my thinking and abilities. I became excellent at networking thanks to FDU!

Any professors who had an impact on you?

Too many to list! I am extremely passionate about education, so I made sure that I took some lesson or new information out of each class. My strongest advocates and mentors were Dean Smallis, Sarah Azavedo, Dean Jackson, and Dan Aaronoff.

What’s the best part of your job?

Leading and managing a public school. My goal was always to be a school leader, and I am fortunate to have my current role only six years after graduating from FDU. Public education, especially in urban communities, needs the best and strongest teachers, and I am blessed to give back and shape students to become future citizens and leaders. 

Anything about the University that impresses you today?

The continual achievements and partnerships that FDU has maintained and created is so impressive - it makes me want to be a student again. I am envious of the new library and beautiful patio outside of Dreyfuss. The students are so lucky to be able to utilize those spaces!

About Simone Portera, BA'07, MAT'08

Simone Portera is currently the Assistant Principal of Hendley Elementary School in Washington, D.C. She graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a MA in teaching and a  B.A. in English Literature. She received an Ed.S. in education administration from Seton Hall University. A Teach for America alumnus, Simone taught 9th-11th grade English for special needs students in Washington, D.C. Wanting to get back to her Jersey roots, she then worked as a Campus Director for two middle schools in Newark, N.J. with Citizen Schools. Her favorite professional experience was completing her student teaching in England. Simone is a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) and a 2012 Fellow of New Leaders Council, a national entrepreneur organization. When she is not working with her staff, she enjoys dancing, listening to audio books, and spending time with family and friends.

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