Patrick Magee Takes Over as Collins School Principal
When schools opened last week, students at the Cecil Collins Elementary School in Barnegat Township saw a new man behind the principal’s desk. Patrick Magee was hired to the position over the summer to replace George Delaporte, who retired after nearly 40 years in the school system.
Magee, 38, first came to Barnegat in 2013 when he took over as vice principal of the Russell O. Brackman Middle School. He began his public education career 10 years earlier in the Pleasantville district in Atlantic County. Magee said he started out as a business education teacher, but then later moved up to serve as an elementary and secondary school vice principal, as well as athletic director.
A graduate of Toms River North High School, Magee earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Stockton University and later received a master’s degree in education administration from Kean University.
“I started out pursuing a career in business, but I found myself moving toward the field of education,” he said. “I knew something about what it is like to be an educator. My mother taught in the Toms River School District for 37 years.”
Magee said the K-5 school opened this year with approximately 440 students.
“I’m trying to meet as many as I can,” he said. “Part of the job is connecting with the students and the parents. When I was a kid, there were principals who were very visible, and that is something I’m going to maintain.”
Of course, when you think principal, the first thing that often comes to mind is discipline.
“Kids have a code of behavior to follow,” he said. “Bullying will absolutely not be tolerated. It will be dealt with swiftly. If parents have these kind of concerns, I want them to come to me.”
Magee said he is also keeping a close eye on the academic program, and is looking to see if any areas need improvement.
“In recent years, technology has transformed the approach to learning,” he said. “The type of homework assignments I got as a kid are certainly not the same today. I feel our district has been at the forefront of these changes, and try to be as up to date as possible. My business background helped give me a knowledge of computers and technology.”
District Superintendent Karen Wood added, “Patrick has a very versatile background in education, so I’m confident he will do well in performing his duties as principal.”
— Eric Englund