Linwood dean receives MLK award

By Jennifer Amato
Staff Writer

NORTH BRUNSWICK – An instructional dean at Linwood Middle School has been honored with the township’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. award.

“It was a great honor to be recognized by Mayor [Francis “Mac”] Womack, the North Brunswick Town Council, the Department of Parks and Recreation and the North Brunswick community,” J.D. Shorter Sr. said of receiving the award during the township’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Jan. 15.

“Martin Luther King was a great man and played a vital role in shaping the civil rights movements. I really do love my job and I’m happy to have the opportunity to contribute to making a positive impact in the community while carrying many of his goals forward,” he said. “Dr. King’s legacy … mainly has inspired me to always love and care for my community, act as a role model and to do my best to  make positive contribution no matter what role or task I may be asked to complete.”

Shorter is an instructional dean at Linwood Middle School. He received his Bachelor of Science from The State University of New York at New Paltz in 1993 and his Master of Administration and Supervision from Saint Peter’s College in 2006.

Prior to becoming a dean, Shorter taught pre-algebra and academic math to seventh graders for three years at Linwood. As a teacher, he served as a member of the National Junior Honor Society Faculty Council, and a recruiter and instructor for an after-school mentoring program and crisis committee.

“My journey started in 1994 when I was offer a long-term substitute position after substituting in the district for one day. I fell in love with the position and students and the rest is history. I have moved from the substitute position and was later offered a full-time position as a math teacher and worked my way into my current role as instructional dean,” Shorter said.

Since 2007, Shorter has assisted countless students as they transitioned from elementary to middle school.

“It’s my job to make every student feel safe, comfortable and confident in our learning environment,” he said. “I love Linwood and it’s a great place to learn and grow.”

“I can say that both [positions as teacher and dean] have offered me the great opportunity to contribute to the educational growth of over 1,500 students each year for the past 10 years, many who I still remember by name and see in the community. The greatest challenge in both roles is identifying how to reach the students where they are, making them feel a part of the student community and helping them to be ready for high school. I am thankful for the opportunity to be a role model in helping so many student be the best they can be,” he said.

Prior to entering the educational field, Shorter was employed by Deloitte Consulting, Summit Bancorp, Automatic Data Processing and Fleet Bank.

His nomination request was reviewed by the North Brunswick Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services.

Contact Jennifer Amato at jamato@gmnews.com.