About the Leadership
Head Dean – Chief School Adminstrator
She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, with a concentration in Childhood Development, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. She also studied the acquisition of second languages at the University of Seville in Spain. After working within the realm of Social Services for a short time after graduation, she went back for her degree in teaching at Saint Peter’s University, where she continued her studies to earn a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and became a certificated Principal.
Mrs. Gigl taught a variety of elementary grades in traditional public schools in New Jersey and at a high achieving Charter School in Newark, New Jersey before becoming the Dean of Students at her placement in Newark, where she was also the founding teacher on a third grade team and fourth grade team and wrote significant portions of the school’s curriculum. She decided to leave her previous position in 2015 to help open Empowerment Academy in her hometown of Jersey City!
It is Mrs. Gigl’s mission to do whatever it takes to help create a disciplined, consistent, engaging, joyful, effective, and loving student culture where all students are able to thrive. Character Development and Community Service are extremely important to Mrs. Gigl and essential pillars of our academic program. Mrs. Gigl lives with her husband and daughter in Jersey City and truly loves this community.
Dean of Curriculum and Instruction
Mrs. Hendry earned her Bachelor of Arts from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. She majored in Anthropology. She then continued her studies at Seton Hall University in New Jersey where she obtained her Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership, Management, and Policy.
Before coming to Empowerment Academy, Mrs. Hendry spent 5 years at a Charter School in Newark, NJ, at which she was a Kindergarten Special Educator, First Grade Special Educator, Third Grade Reading Comprehension Teacher, and Dean of Students. Mrs. Hendry then moved to a different Charter School in Newark where she was a Lead Teacher, specializing in Guided Reading, and the Dean of Students and Families. It has always been extremely important to Mrs. Hendry to create and maintain a positive classroom culture that promotes the joy of learning. Mrs. Hendry’s experience in multiple grade levels at two extremely successful schools has prepared her to ensure our students have the highest quality curriculum and instruction possible!
Ms. Hilton earned her Bachelors of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences in International Studies. She then continued her studies at Wilmington University in Delaware where she obtained her Master of Arts degree in Elementary Education.
Before coming to Empowerment, Ms. Hilton was a Teach for America Corp. member, during which time she took part in intensive professional development and coaching. She spent some time being a 2nd grade bilingual teacher in Wilmington, Delaware, and then moved to a high achieving charter school in Newark, NJ. She was a Lead Teacher during this placement and carefully tracked and analyzed student mastery of Common Core objectives, using data to drive daily instruction. We are extremely excited to have Ms. Hilton move into her new role as Teaching Coach on the Leadership Team.
He earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in History from Alliance College in Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania, and a Master’s of Science in Accounting from St. Peter’s College in Jersey City.
Director of Operations
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a Masters of Divinity from the International School of Theology in San Bernardino, California.
Staff & Support
Head of Security