Meet the Faculty
Jennifer Poorman Hodgson - High School Jazz Ensemble Director
Jennifer Poorman Hodgson is a graduate of Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University with a clarinet major and received her Bachelor's of Music degree in Music Education in 1997. At Mason Gross School of the Arts she was a member of the Grammy nominated Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. William Berz and Drum Major of the Rutgers University Scarlet Knight Marching Band for three of her four years in the organization. Mrs. Hodgson received her Masters degree in Educational Technology from Stockton University in 2018 and also has taken graduate classes at West Chester University and Central Connecticut State University.
Mrs. Hodgson has taught students at all grade levels from Kindergarten to High School. She began her career teaching vocal music in Brigantine, Woodbine and Barnegat schools and began the instrumental music program at the North School in Absecon, grades 4 through 8. Mrs. Hodgson has been teaching at Southern Regional High School since 1999 where she teaches the high school Symphonic band, music theory/AP music theory, guitar, instrumental lessons, jazz ensemble, pit orchestra is the advisor for the Tri-M Music Honor Society. She is a member of the National Association for Music Education and New Jersey Association for Jazz Education.
Mrs. Hodgson is Personnel Secretary, Assistant Director and Clarinetist for the South Jersey Area Wind Ensemble. She has also traveled as a band director with the American Music Abroad Gold Tour through Europe (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic,France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Slovenia and Switzerland) since 1998. She was selected as conductor for Western Burlington County honors band, All-South Jersey Symphonic band, Cape-Atlantic Honors band and the All-South Jersey Clarinet Ensemble.
Mrs. Hodgson lives in Egg Harbor Township with her husband Keith and her three dogs Jack, Buddy and Mya.
Andrew Wright - Middle School Jazz Ensemble Director
is a graduate of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania College of Fine Arts with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education. Mr. Wright studied privately in the IUP Percussion Studio with Dr. Gary Olmstead, Dr. Ron Horner, and Dr. Michael Kingan. With the IUP Percussion Ensemble, Mr. Wright performed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, PAS Pennsylvania Day of Percussion, and the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association State Convention. He also served as President of the Collegiate Percussive Arts Society and presented a lecture recital at the 1st Annual Undergraduate Scholars Conference held at IUP. As a solo musician he received 1st place in the Delta Omicron Solo Competition held in the spring of 2005 and also served as Principal Percussionist of the IUP Wind Ensemble under the baton of Dr. Jack Stamp. In 2015, Mr. Wright graduated from Stockton University with his Masters of Arts in Instructional Technology.
Mr. Wright has taught students in several music programs throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. From 2003-2005 he served as percussion caption head and assistant band director of the DuBois Area Marching Band. Mr. Wright also served as a consultant for several marching percussion programs in Pennsylvania and was featured as a guest clinician with Bret Kuhn in the 2006 Sounds of Summer Drumline Camp.
Mr. Wright began his tenure at Southern Regional in 2007 as a long-term High School chorus substitute teacher. He was hired in the Fall of 2007 as the district strings teacher and a member of the band faculty. Since being hired at Southern, Mr. Wright has served as director of the HS marching band, MS jazz band, MS/HS percussion ensemble, HS indoor drumline, and HS pit orchestra. Mr. Wright is also an instructor at Starlight Performing Arts in Manahawkin and was selected as conductor for the All-South Jersey Percussion Ensemble in 2011.
Mr. Wright lives in Manahawkin with his wife Alyssa, who is a music teacher at Stafford Township School District's McKinley Ave. Elementary School, and their children Addison and Carter.
John Dondero Jr. - High School Jazz Band Director
Mr. Dondero graduated from Southern regional in 2008, where he spent 2 years in the Jazz Band and 3 years in the Jazz Ensemble, and was also a member of the Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Pit Orchestra, and Concert choir during his four years.
John attended Rutgers University where he majored in music education. He was a member of the Symphony Band, the Brass Band, and the Marching band while at Rutgers, and graduated in 2012.
Since graduating, he has worked with the Southern Regional Marching Band and became the Assistant Director in the 2014 season and head director in 2016. Currently John is the part time brass Instructor for Southern Regional school district and directs the High School Jazz Band.
Mr. Poorman received a BS in Music Education from Lebanon Valley College and a Master's Degree from Ithica College, also in music education. He studied privately under Anthony Gerace, William Cagnoli, Frank Stackow, Don Sinta, Charles Bay, Joseph Gigliotti and Joseph Allard.
Ron began his teaching career in 1963 as a High School Music Director at Middletown High School, Middletown, PA, where he taught for three years before moving on to a seven year stay at Pleasantville High School, Pleasantville, NJ. In 1973 he moved to Southern Regional High School in Manahawkin, NJ. During his 27 year tenure there he saw the band program grow from just 12 players to consist of three high school concert bands., two middle school concert bands, two high school jazz bands and one middle school jazz band. During that time the staff expanded from three to eight directors. In February of 2000, after 37 years of teaching Ron retired from public schools.
Ron is an author of a book, Everyone's Guide to Instrumental Music Lessons, that has been used as a text in his alma maters, Lebanon Valley College and Ithica College, as well as East Tennessee State College, Indiana University, Rocky Mountain College and the University of Wisconson.
Ron spent 10 years with American Music Abroad, taking hundreds of local music students on three week tours across Western Europe. In addition, he spent nine years as a member of the 553rd Air Force Band, six of which he was the director of the Jazz Band. He spent three summers as Jazz Band Director of the Glassboro College (now Rowan) Summer Program for High School students. He is past President of the NJIAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators, New Jersey Division) and was a member of NJMENC Curriculum Committee. He also served as South Jersey Region President of the IAJE and directed the Region III Jazz Band. He was named Outstanding Young Educator by the Mainland Jacees and listed in the Who's Who of American Teachers. Ron was also nominated for the 1998 Distinguished Teacher Award and named conductor of All-South Jersey Symphonic Band for the January 1999 concert by the South Jersey Orchestra and Band Director Association. He was also previously the Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Bands at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. He has been the Associate conductor for the South Jersey Area Wind Ensemble for the past 21 years and is also a saxophonist and Treasurer for the ensemble.
Currently Ron runs a private lesson studio at his home, specializing in woodwind instruction and continues to serve as a consultant at Southern Regional.