Champion of ESL Education, Dr. JoAnne Negrin Named Dec. 2019 “Heartland Hero”

Dr. JoAnne Negrin, the New Jersey Heartland Hero for December 2019. (Photo courtesy of New Jersey’s Heartland.)

VINELAND, N.J. – According to the U.S. Department of Education, ESL programs are the fastest-growing component of state-administered education programs — and educators like Dr. JoAnne Negrin are helping to lead that charge.

Negrin supervises ESL, world languages, bilingual education, and performing arts at Vineland’s Public Schools, which had four of its ESL programs designated as Model Programs by the New Jersey Department of Education. This achievement in education is why Negrin has been honored as the December 2019 “New Jersey’s Heartland Hero.”

With an Ed.D in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania, Negrin spent nine years teaching English abroad in Argentina, Mexico, Spain, and Russia. She became a Spanish Teacher in her hometown of Cherry Hill, NJ, before taking on the role of ESSA Supervisor in the Vineland Public Schools. Following a seven-year stint as President of NJTESOL-NJBE, an organization of over 1,500 ESL and bilingual professionals throughout New Jersey, she returned to the Vineland schools where she has held her current position since 2012.

Under Negrin, the district’s K-5 bilingual program was the first to be honored, earning the Model Program designation from the state Department of Education last year. The state also awarded Model Program status to the district’s K-5 English as a Second Language, 9-12 bilingual and 9-12 English as a Second Language programs, making it the only district south of Princeton to receive Model Program honors.

While the region of Cumberland, Gloucester, Atlantic, and Salem counties is filled with hidden gems, its biggest treasures are the people who make the region a great place to live, work, play, and raise a family. All Heartland Heroes receive a Heartland Heroes Certificate and Gift Basket in recognition of their award. To nominate someone you believe to be a Heartland Hero, visit: