Michele Adubato - Chief Executive Officer

Honoring the legacy and shaping an even brighter future, Michele Adubato, a widely recognized educational leader with more than 20 years of experience as an educator, social worker and school principal, embraced the role of chief executive officer for the North Ward Center (NWC), following the retirement of its founder, Stephen N. Adubato.

“My father, Stephen N. Adubato founded NWC with one simple goal: to empower the residents of Greater Newark by providing services designed to strengthen the family and their community. I firmly believe that service to others is the highest purpose and I am honored to be in a position to lead an organization that has served the community so well for so long.”

Driven by a passion to serve others and empower individuals to succeed, Michele began her educational career in the Newark Public School System in 1992 as a special education teacher at Camden Elementary School in Newark. In the early 1980s, Michele worked with juveniles in need of supervision in Essex County for six years and also worked as a freelance video producer, creating an award-winning three-part series on the problems in urban America.

In 1997, she joined the New Jersey Regional Day School (NJRDS) where she developed and administered educational initiatives that helped students with special needs transition from school to adulthood. The transition program was recognized by the State Department of Education as a model program for students with disabilities.

Michele became the vice principal of NJRDS in September 2004, where she held extensive responsibilities, including supervision, curriculum leadership, school finance, parent and community affairs and continued to expand the transition program. In September 2012, Michele became the principal of NJRDS.

Passionate about helping children and young adults in the autism community, including her former students, in 2010 Michele founded The Center for Autism, a non-profit organization that provides comprehensive day services and opportunities for adults with autism and their families.

Michele embraces her new role at NWC and the special opportunity to carry on the leadership that will allow NWC to continue providing the highest quality service to children, adults and families in Newark and beyond.