Ms. Jennifer Andersen
Ms. Jennifer Andersen became one of two assistant principals at Great Neck North Middle School in 2015. She has worked at North Middle School since 1996 when she began her career as a seventh grade English teacher. Ms. Andersen said she will always value the time she spent in the classroom sharing her love of literature with middle school students and helping to get them to fall in love with reading, as her teachers had so many years ago. She said that having spent close to twenty years working with middle school students only helped her to better understand the trials and tribulations that encompass the middle school years.
In 2008, she became dean of students, while still teaching two sections of English. This transition from the classroom to a more administrative role helped Ms. Andersen begin to see the larger functions of a middle school, one that extends beyond the workings of a classroom. During her time in the deans’ office, she managed student discipline and taught students how to navigate problems and make better decisions, two life-long skills. Ms. Andersen felt that it was truly her time in the deans’ office which best prepared her for her assistant principal role.
Ms. Andersen says that even though she loved teaching English, she was ready for a change and was happy for the opportunity to become the AP of the building she called home. She said that she is honored and privileged to have worked in Great Neck for all the years that she has, and she cannot wait to see what the next years of her career will bring at North Middle School.
Ms. Nancy Gunning
Nancy Gunning has served as one of NMS’s two assistant principals since September of 2014. However, she has been part of the NMS family since September of 1996 first as an English teacher, and, then, as an English teacher and Dean of Students. Dispersed throughout these years, Ms. Gunning has also served as a track coach and newspaper advisor.
The one thing that Ms. Gunning enjoys the most about middle-school students is their ability to always keep the adults in their life on their toes! She reports that nothing about her job is ever boring, and that every single day, her students bring a sense of wonder, newness, excitement, and humor to her day.
Whether as an English teacher, a track coach, a Dean of Students, or now as an Assistant Principal, Ms. Gunning feels she thrives in helping her students, their parents, and her staff solve problems. Her goal is to always empower middle schoolers to think for themselves and to take healthy risks so that they can learn not only from their successes, but how to get up after a failure.
Ms. Gunning reports that North Middle School is her second family, and, therefore, coming to work is like coming home.