The professor draws on his experience as an innovator to prepare students for educational leadership

Dr. Bonnie Lehet grew up in Hopewell Township, New Jersey, just minutes from the Rider Campus. Although she never attended Rider, the school has always had a special connection with her family, as this is where her mother obtained her Masters in Educational Leadership.

Initially, Dr. Lehet had no intention of following in his mother’s footsteps. While in high school, she was first exposed to computers at a time when their use in schools was in its infancy, and she was immediately drawn to the problem-solving aspect of computer programming. . She will major in computer science at Rutgers, becoming one of the few women to hold this distinction at the time.

After graduating, she planned that the next step in her career would be to work in a field related to IT. “I didn’t expect to go to school,” she says. “This was before the Internet existed as we know it, and I thought I would find a job writing software or doing computer programming.”

Partly because of the growing need for computer science teachers, the first job offer she received out of college was a teaching position. “I thought I would do it for just a year and then figure out what kind of job I wanted to get,” she says. “But I fell in love with it. It was just such a fun job.

For the next twelve years she taught computer programming and computer science at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School. During this time, she also earned a Masters in Mathematics Education and began teaching Computer Science and Mathematics at Rutgers and Middlesex County College.

As the use of computers became widespread, not only in the classroom but throughout society, Dr. Lehet paved the way for the implementation of their use in her school. “I had to really advocate for my students to benefit from computer technology,” she says. “I have been very involved in bringing my school district online and building a computer lab. “

Her efforts extended beyond the classes she taught and had a positive impact on the entire program. “My title was ‘technology coordinator’ and I spent a lot of time helping my colleagues learn to use technology for their own lessons,” she says. “I had the opportunity to lead many workshops, which allowed me to help the teachers. I started to think, “I wonder if I could do this in another capacity in a school district?” And that’s what set me on the path to a career in administration.

She then became a Technology Supervisor in the Millburn School District before moving to Princeton Public Schools, where she was Math Supervisor for six years, then Assistant Superintendent for 10 years before retiring in 2017.

His retirement only lasted a short time. She arrived at Rider in the fall of 2017 as an Assistant Assistant Professor, teaching a course in Mathematics in the Teacher Education Department, and then as a Visiting Assistant Professor and Assistant in the Mathematics Department. Two years later, she joined the College of Education and Human Services as an Assistant Professor. She teaches a course on educational change and political reform in Rider’s doctoral educational leadership program, as well as an internship course for supervisors and principal applicants.

In addition to teaching, she also seeks to do research on the socio-emotional factors that influence leaders in decision-making. Dr. Lehet is excited to be embarking on the next phase of her career and happy to be part of the Rider family. “It’s a real community and the people here really come together to support each other,” she says. “I love that.”

Janice G. Ball