ClassLink Announces 2023 NJ Visionary Award Winners

August 10, 2023
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Clifton, NJ - August 10, 2023 - Last week, ClassLink celebrated the accomplishments of exceptional New Jersey educators at their annual Seaside Celebration for Ed Leaders in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Bringing together educators and thought leaders from across the state—the event gave guests a chance to connect, kick off a new school year, and celebrate their colleagues!

Congratulations to Our Award Winners!

To be a visionary, an educator must have the passion and creativity to design future-focused learning experiences and programs. Each new school year has unique challenges, and NJ educators remain committed to creating innovative initiatives that inspire and empower students and colleagues. Four outstanding individuals who consistently go above and beyond to serve their communities were honored at the event.

“ClassLink takes great pride in celebrating the outstanding achievements of the NJ Visionary Award Winners. At the heart of ClassLink's success lies the invaluable presence of educators—they are the very essence of our existence! We extend heartfelt gratitude for their efforts, their talents, and unwavering commitment to advancing education.”

Berj Akian
Founder & CEO, ClassLink

NJ Visionary Educator Award

Winner: Dave Jones (STEM coach, Washington Township Schools)

With over 20 years of experience in education, Dave Jones is the District Instructional STEM Coach for the Washington Township School District in Morris County, NJ. While working with educators and organizations, Dave strives to spread the vision of viewing students as creators who apply skill sets to solve real world problems. Leveraging high-quality instruction, a well-developed curriculum, and cutting-edge educational technology is the trifecta necessary to develop students' problem-solving skills so that they can live a joyful life while contributing to making the world a better place.

NJ Visionary Technology Leader Award

Winner: Evan Abramson (Director of Technology and Innovation, Morris-Union Jointure Commission)

Evan Abramson is currently the Director of Technology and Innovation for the Morris-Union Jointure Commission. He is a proud graduate of Northwood University, where he received a BA in Business Administration, and of Thomas Edison State University, earning an MEd in Educational Leadership. Prior to his time as Director of Technology, he worked for the St. Louis Cardinals in Media Relations before returning to New Jersey to work with Irvington Public Schools in multiple technology roles.

Evan was the Chair for Future Ready Schools New Jersey focusing on Data and Privacy as well as Robust Infrastructure and was recently named as a Future Ready Schools National Technology Thought Leader. He has presented at the NJASA Techspo Conference as well as the ISTE National Technology Conference. Evan has focused his attention on building career pathways and using technology to improve the lives of students with special needs.

NJ Visionary Superintendent Award

Winner: Dr. Noreen Tansey (Superintendent, South Plainfield School District)

Appointed by the South Plainfield board of education in May 2016, Dr. Noreen Tansey was the district’s first permanent superintendent in over two years. In addition to bringing ongoing stability to her school district, Dr. Tansey brought over 19 years of experience to South Plainfield.

Prior to her time in South Plainfield, after a number of years in the business field, Dr. Tansey switched gears and proceeded to earn a bachelor’s in elementary education from Kean University. Dr. Tansey went on to earn a master’s in educational leadership from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She worked in Warren County for the Great Meadows Regional School District, as director of curriculum and special services before joining the Township of Union Public School District, serving as director of secondary curriculum and testing and later as the assistant superintendent of schools. During that time, she also earned her doctorate in administrative leadership from Walden University.

NJ Visionary Community Impact Award

Winner: Valarie Smith (Lead Founder and Executive Director, Ocean Academy Charter School)

Valarie Smith has 35 years in governance on the local, state, and federal levels.  She served on the school board in Cherry Hill and served as the U.S. Department of Education's Regional representative for Region II representing NJ, NY, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.  She worked during the Whitman administration in helping to advance charter schools, Interdistrict Choice schools, and standards and assessments.  She is the founder and, currently the Chief School Administrator, of Ocean Academy Charter School in Lakewood, NJ.

About ClassLink

ClassLink is a global education provider of identity and analytics products that create more time for learning and help schools better understand digital engagement. As leading advocates for open data standards, we offer instant access to apps and files with single sign-on, streamline class rostering, automate account provisioning, and provide actionable analytics. ClassLink empowers 21 million students and staff in over 2,600 school systems. Visit to learn more.

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