The Joint Operating Committee (JOC) of the Upper Bucks County Technical School (UBCTS) has named Assistant Director Dr. Michael Herrera as the school’s next executive director.
Herrera has over 18 years of administrative experience in Career Technical Education (CTE) and a year as a principal of a large comprehensive high school. For the last eight years, Herrera has worked at the Upper Bucks County Technical School, most recently as the acting executive director since November 2021.
The selection of Herrera for appointment as executive director follows a national executive search for qualified candidates facilitated by the Bucks County Intermediate Unit (Bucks IU). The JOC approved Herrera for the executive director position at a special meeting of the Joint Operating Committee (JOC) on July 11.
Despite Herrera having been with the Upper Bucks County Technical School for several years, a formal introduction of him in his new role as executive director will be held with a community forum this fall. By planning this for after the summer break, it is hoped that more students, staff, families, and community members will be available to participate. Details will be publicly provided after the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year.
The JOC began the search process in April, engaging the Bucks IU to serve as its search consultant. The Bucks IU, on behalf of the JOC, conducted a community survey from April 22 through May 1, to identify the community’s opinions and priorities. A total of 133 parents, guardians, taxpayers, students, staff, and other community members responded to the survey, offering feedback on the ideal characteristics and attributes of the future Executive Director. The survey also captured what the community believes to be UBCTS’s priorities for the immediate and long-term future.
The JOC used these community survey results to conduct a comprehensive search process. As the facilitator, the Bucks IU actively recruited qualified candidates and advertised in local, regional, state, and national publications, seeking the appropriate applicants. Eleven qualified candidates applied for the position, including candidates from out of state.
Herrera is currently completing his national fellowship with the Association for Career and Technical Education.
His background includes a doctorate in educational leadership from Saint Elizabeth University and a master’s degree in the same field from Seton Hall University. His dissertation was on content area reading in a career technical education school. A lifelong learner, he completed Seton Hall University’s Institute for Education Leadership, Research, and Renewal New Superintendent’s Initiative. He was inducted into Kappa Delta Pi (Educational Honor Society).
His published works include co-authoring “Perkins V and Continuous Improvement,” selected as the feature article in the March 2020 issue of ACTE’s Technique magazine under Data and Program Improvement. In addition, his article “Reducing the Critical Skills Gap Likely to be widened by COVID-19 Pandemic” was published in the National Career Development Association’s Career Convergence magazine May 2020 issue. He recently participated in NCLA’s national podcast, “Refocus on the Skilled Trades to Reduce the Critical Skills Gap in a Post-Pandemic World.”
Other achievements include testifying before the One Hundred Ninth Congress on the success of his anti-bullying efforts and being named a National School Director of the Year Finalist by Campus Safety magazine.