LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Harold Abraham

Position: Principal
School: Hoboken Middle School
School District: Hoboken Public School District
City, State: Hoboken, NJ

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Music that Describes Harold

Harold Abraham was nominated anonymously. 

Leadership in today’s schools is very important. Ultimately, the principal or administrator sets the tone. Fortunately, Hoboken Middle School has the most energetic, charismatic, and innovative principal a school could ask for. He is the talk of the school community for the change that he has so passionately delivered.

Dr. Abraham has an ability like no other to form genuine relationships with his students. This goes far beyond knowing the first and last name of all of his kids; they have true bonds formed. He greets students and families at the door every morning, regardless of the temperature. He has been known to visit students in the hospital, provide Thanksgiving meals to those in need, and support at-risk students with targeted instruction methodologies.

Dr. Abraham started a math-infused before school fitness program for staff, students, and parents, that has taken the school by storm. Historically, it’s a battle to get middle schoolers out of bed, let alone to get them to school early, but not for Dr. Abraham. His club has over 25% of the student-body attending each week, and it continues to grow.

Dr. Abraham recognized the need within the community for increased literacy. With this in mind, he started the HMS Community Book Club, which encompasses 120 families district-wide. The program is fun, interactive, and a powerful tool to bridge the gap between home and school. 

Dr. Abraham continuously inspires students to overcome adversity through hard work, perseverance and grit. He shared with students that he is a formerly classified student and struggled tremendously during his K-12 schooling. Dr. Abraham fosters a highly inclusive setting where students of all abilities are celebrated.

Dr. Abraham designed a nationally recognized reading incentive titled “Read-Believe-Achieve." This incentive centered around an inspirational visit from his close friend, ESPY Award winner, Eric Legrand. Each class was challenged to log their extracurricular reading for the duration of a month. During the assembly, it was shared that as a whole, Hoboken Middle School read over 33,000 minutes! 

Hoboken Middle School has been transformed into a magical place of learning. It is evident that both staff and students enjoy coming to school each day. Under Dr. Abraham’s leadership, a true holistic approach is taken, and lessons are designed to teach students through hands-on experience. The combination of passion, innovation, and personalization has been the recipe for success for Hoboken Middle School. Dr. Abraham is truly changing the lives of his students each and every day.

Comments (12)

Dr. Robert Gilbert Posted over a year ago

I am not psychic, but when Dr. Abraham was a student and an athlete here at Montclair State University, I knew he was going to do great things. Hal’s a difference-maker and a change-agent. Whether he was in the classroom or on the court, he always brought positive uplifting energy! In my 39 years at MSU, I have never had another student like him. Hal, congratulations on this great honor!

Shirley Eyler Posted over a year ago

As a former administrator of 20+ years, I believe that I am a strong evaluator of talent. I have never seen a more caring, innovative, and energetic principal than Dr. Abraham. He goes above and beyond to personalize the schooling experience for all students. Dr. Abraham has the ability to bring a community together like I’ve never seen before.

Alyssa Posted over a year ago

Dr. Abraham inspires people to be their best selves. His passion and love for his job shows each day. From greeting each student at the door each morning, to working out with his students before school at cardio club - he truly makes Hoboken Middle School a special experience for the school community. He makes students want to come to school. He has held several impactful events at the school such as having ESPY winner Eric LeGrand speak to the students about the important of perseverance and grit. Students completed a reading incentive and were rewarded at the event. Another inspiring event was the Cory Weissman 1000 to 1 movie night. It was memorable for the students and the school got the chance to meet and talk to him. No one is more deserving of this award than Dr. Abraham, and he does everything he can to make being a student at Hoboken Middle School an incredible experience.

Eric Legrand Posted over a year ago

Dr. Abraham goes above and beyond to make the student experience a memorable one. Nobody cares more about staff and students than he does! I’ve been to many schools and none compare to the culture that he has developed at HMS - it’s truly something special! It has been amazing to see Dr. Abraham changing lives for over 10 years and the impact that he’s had on the community at large!

Tina Weissman Posted over a year ago

Hal, your dedication to education and community, enthusiasm for implementing change and energy to get others involved is inspiring. You’ve already been rewarded by the positive changes you’ve made. You deserve full recognition!

Cindy Taus Posted over a year ago

Dr. Abraham is a role model for his students, their parents/ guardians and his staff. Be it math, literacy, physical fitness - he is leading by example and making positive strides and life changes throughout the community.

Cory Weissman Posted over a year ago

It’s amazing that as the principal of his middle school, he hasn’t only changed the culture of his school and the school district, but the town of Hoboken as a whole. He puts together events that bring the community together and will only continue to grow his legacy there. If anyone is deserving of this award it’s him. #principalabraham #cardioclub #movienight #readbelieveacheive #glowforacure #glowfest

Marcie Posted over a year ago

As my sons Principal, I could not have asked for a more dedicated leader. Dr. Abraham inspires his students to do their best. He celebrates their successes and makes them feel smart and valued on a daily basis. Dr. Abraham gets kids to do things they never dreamed they could do. It is because of him that my son loves school. I know the entire school community feels the same way. For the work that he does, he is the talk of the town.

Rob Jackson Posted over a year ago

Dr. Abraham is the reason that people are keeping their children in Hoboken Public Schools. Because of him, HMS has doubled in size (How amazing is that?!) Dr. Abraham is the type of leader that makes everyone around him better. His positivity and tireless work ethic are infectious. He has a great pulse on the school because he is always outside greeting students and families, in the hallways, classrooms and cafeteria. No problem is too large or too small for Dr. Abraham. He will always make time for you - I don't know how he does it. Student achievement at his school is at an all time high and the culture is like no other I have ever seen at the middle school level.

Rebecca Posted over a year ago

Dr. Abraham has totally transformed Hoboken Middle School. There’s nobody that cares more about kids and the community than him. When my family was in need, he made sure we had a Thanksgiving Dinner. This is something I’ll never forget. It was a hard time made easier, all because of an amazing principal.

Michele Posted over a year ago

Mr. Abraham demonstrates the leadership qualities that only a lifechanger could. He has totally transformed the schooling experience at Hoboken Middle School. It is because of him that families are deciding to stay in district. He has created a place where teachers enjoy teaching and where students enjoy learning. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Suzanne Labombarda Posted over a year ago

I am truly honored to have the opportunity to work with Mr. Abraham as part of the Persist Kids Leadership Program. From the start, it became clear that Mr. Abraham is an extraordinarily talented leader. He immediately took it upon himself to ensure that all staff had the required training and foundational skills to make the program a success. Moreover, he designed and implemented a number of initiatives to complement and reinforce the program principles. For example, during the 1000 to 1 Movie Night, Corey Weissman appeared in person upon the completion of the film to continue to inspire the students. Having the star of the film show up in the flesh is a great example of one of the many ways in which Mr. Abraham routinely goes above and beyond the call of duty. In addition, he arranged for former American football defensive tackle Eric Legrand to provide the students, parents, and staff with an inspirational talk on overcoming the odds to triumph over adversity, which is a tremendously valuable lesson for everyone. Mr. Abraham is a truly transformative and inspirational leader, and the students, staff, parents and larger Hoboken community are extremely lucky to have him as the Principal of Hoboken Middle School.