January 21



keynote 2013I am currently the Principal for the RM Bacon Elementary School in Millville, NJ. Since arriving at RM Bacon in 2011, I have worked collaboratively with parents, staff and students to build a world class elementary school. We consider RM Bacon the most connected school in the Millville Public Schools. We have a weekly blog, twitter and facebook page. Many of our teachers have their own classroom blogs. Our school was featured in the ASCD instructional video on Classroom Instruction That Works volume 2, and Pearson’s EnVision Math video series.

Educational Philosophy:

My educational philosophy is based on the notion that all students can learn. I believe that teachers should use research-based techniques while making data-based decisions to increase student achievement. I view all students as individuals who possess a unique approach to their own learning. I believe that R.M. Bacon Elementary, along with the entire Millville School District, is world class!

Source: thefoxisblack.com

Source: thefoxisblack.com

Leadership Platform:
I operate as a servant leader because I feel a responsibility to those I lead. This is accomplished by building trusting relationships, providing an opportunity for personal and professional growth, and promoting a collaborative environment in which everyone becomes a stakeholder.

I also utilize transformational leadership. Similar to servant leaders, transformational leaders encourage collaboration rather than individual work. Transformational leaders invigorate their followers by being charismatic and excited about the vision of the organization. In addition, transformational leaders raise people to new levels of commitment to the organization.

The third aspect to my leadership platform is social justice. Social Justice Leaders promote equity and justice for students and attempt to establish school climates in which patterns of discrimination are challenged and negated. To achieve equity and justice, I use four approaches to challenge the status quo: improving experiences for those who have been mistreated, changing the way students and teachers view stereotypes, challenging the invisible dynamics in society that favor some groups over others, and addressing reasons why education has been difficult to practice.

Spike Cook and Ceri Dean

Spike Cook and Ceri Dean

Upon graduating from Eastern Regional High School, I entered Rowan University in 1992 through the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF). During my time at Rowan I was active in numerous organizations such as Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Glassboro Environmental Organization, Residence Life, March of Dimes Walk America, and a mentor through the Harley Flack Mentoring Program and Delsea Mentoring Program. I organized the annual College Day for 200 middle school students in 1997.

I graduated in 1997 with a Bachelors of Arts degree in English Literature. I then attended the Graduate School at Rowan Universityand majored in Student Personnel Services. During graduate school, I was a Residence Hall Director for two years. As a residence hall director I supervised 20 Resident Assistants and was responsible for managing 300 students. I graduated with a Masters of Arts degree in 1999.

I returned to graduate college in the fall of 2004 and enrolled in the Master’s Degree in Education Administration at Rowan University. I researched the impact of learning theories in decreasing discipline referrals. I graduated in the spring of 2006.

In the fall of 2006 I continued his pursuit of his ultimate goal, a doctorate. I enrolled in the Educational Leadership program at Rowan University. Throughout my doctoral program, I researched Integrated Thematic Instruction as a curricular approach to assist teachers of at-risk students. I successfully defended my dissertation in February of 2009.

RM Bacon's first podcast was hosted by Mr. Hudson's class

RM Bacon’s first podcast was hosted by Mr. Hudson’s class

Teaching Experience:
I went through the Alternative Route Teaching program and taught at Camden’s Promise Charter School from 2000 – 2002. Throughout that experience, I taught elementary and middle school Math, Schools-To-Careers, and the Academy Major Selection Class. As a teacher, I integrated team building, critical thinking, and problem solving into all of his classes

As a guidance counselor, I continued to teach in addition to my counseling responsibilities. I taught classes on improving learning awareness, hands-on learning, writing across the curriculum, team building, decision making, and resolving conflicts peacefully.

In the summers, I taught during the time I was coordinator of the SHAPE Program. I taught lessons on team building and integrated learning, and used a variety of techniques to help students solve problems through construction, leisure games, and critical thinking.

Ready to go....

Ready to go….

Career Experience:

After graduate school, I began working for Union County College as an academic advisor with the EOF program. I advised 100 freshman and sophomore college students and began the Union County College Male Mentoring Program

In June of 2002, I began working for Delsea Regional High School District as a Middle School Guidance Counselor. In 2006 I was promoted to middle school Guidance Director. I facilitated several workshops for parents and teachers, coordinated the NJASK assessments, served as the program director for the Talent Search program, and advised several student clubs.

I was also the coordinator and lead developer of the Delsea Regional HS District’s summer SHAPE program. This summer enrichment program is thematic based and utilizes activities and strategies aimed at strengthening academic skills in Language Arts and Mathematics.  Academic classes are co-taught and students are intentionally grouped utilizing the Let Me Learn® process.  Students also participate in hands-on building projects tied into service-learning and team building.

In 2010, I went back to work for my Alma Mater, Rowan University. As the Executive Director of the Student Services Center of the College of Education, I was responsible for managing the field experiences, academic advising, and certification of education majors. I attended various county superintendent meetings, forged new partnerships with school districts, published the first newsletter on field experiences, and improved the customer service for advising.

Community Involvement:
I am a member of the Knights of Columbus in Washington Township. I am a volunteer coach for Washington Township Youth Soccer, Basketball and Baseball.

I served as the Vice Chair of the Gloucester County Professional Development Board from 2006 – 2009. I was also active in the Gloucester County Middle School Counselors Association, and the Delsea Regional School District’s New Jersey Quality Single Accountability (NJQSAC) operations committee. I have presented at several state and local conferences on Learning Theories, Making Connections through Thematic Instruction, Summer Program Effectiveness, and Team Building in the Classroom. I was the keynote speaker at the 2007 Rowan University Convocation.

Cook family at Independence Hall, Philadelphia, PA

Cook family at Independence Hall, Philadelphia, PA


I have been married to Theresa since August, 2000. We have two children, Henry, who is seven and Catherine who is four. Theresa is a certified special education teacher and spent 10 years teaching in the Washington Township School District, and is currently in the Gloucester Township School District. She has a blog of her own, and is on twitter.



Education Week:  The New Ed Tech Leaders Model by Digital Example

Vineland Daily Journal: Lights, Camera, Action! 

Vineland Daily Journal: Technical Education 

Vineland Daily Journal: Dawn of a New School Year

Vineland Daily Journal: Smiles and Excitement

Vineland Daily Journal: Bacon’s Proficient Scorers rewarded with lunch

Rowan University: Convocation 

The Whit: Ceremony Provides Words of Hope for New Students

Rowan Magazine: Generation X-cellent 



7 thoughts on “About

  1. Pingback: Dr. Spike Cook (Principal, NJ) - TeacherCast | TeacherCast

  2. Ellen Semel

    I am a doctoral student at Hofstra University on Long Island and Ass’t Sup’t of Curriculum in Islip. My thesis is on blogging /administrators and empathy. I like your blog and I am very impressed with the challenge you have given yourself. I would like to invite you to visit my blog at http://assistantsuptsemel.blogspot.com/

  3. Alexis Bonaitacola

    Hi Dr. Cook,

    I am reading Eric Sheninger’s book and after reading about your work at your school, I wondered if it was possible for me and my colleagues to visit the school.

    I will be ushering in digital leadership in our school district in Mount Laurel, NJ and it would be helpful for me to actually meet with you to help me in this exciting journey.

    Would I need to contact the school or is it possible for you to reach out to me at abonavitacola@gmail.com?

    Dr. Alexis Bonavitacola
    Curriculum Supervisor
    Mount Laurel New Jersey

    1. drspikecook (Post author)


      I look forward to meeting you and your team! Thanks again for the kind words!

  4. Alexis Bonaitacola

    By the way, I see you are a graduate of Eastern (I lived in Cherry Hill, NJ for 18 years) and I, too, am a graduate of Rowan University. I did my practicum and student-teaching in at Cooper’s Poynt Professional Development School in Camden, NJ :). I would love to meet with you!

  5. Mark Rogers


    My name is Mark.Sorry for posting this here; I couldn’t see an email contact.

    I’m contacting you because I noticed you tweeted a great article; ‘To overcome an irrational fear…’ on Seth’s Blog.
    I was hearing from my readers that they wanted something more in depth about cognitive approaches to overcoming fear, so I went ahead and created this post: http://www.neurokarmaproject.com/anxiety/banishanxiety/

    If you have time I’d love for you to check it out, and if you like it, it would be awesome if you could share it or maybe leave a comment.

    Mark Rogers Ph.D (Behavioral neuroscience)

    1. drspikecook (Post author)

      Thanks for the article. I shared it on Facebook and Twitter. It was very informative!



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