New Year Will Bring Two New Middle School Principals

The Montclair Board of Education unanimously appointed new principals at Mt. Hebron and Renaissance middle schools on Monday.


Two Montclair middle schools will have new principals to begin the new year.  

The Board of Education of Montclair unanimously appointed Jill Sack as principal of Mt. Hebron Middle School, and Barbara Weller as principal of Renaissance Middle School at Rand. Both will begin their tenure on Jan. 2, 2013.

“We are all very aware these days that having an effective teacher in the classroom is tightly correlated to student achievement ...,” said Superintendent Penny MacCormack. “Second only to an effective teacher is an effective principal.” 

Sacks, who has spent 24 years in the district, will move from her current position as principal of the Renaissance School to head Mt. Hebron. She will return to the school where she spent more than 10 years teaching language arts and social studies. In addition, she was a teacher and assistant principal at Hillside Elementary School. 

“Leaving Renaissance is bittersweet for me,” said Sacks in a press release from the district. “I have been warmly welcomed by Renaissance students, staff and parents and I’ve learned a lot from this wonderfully effective and tight-knit school community, yet I’m excited to return to my dedicated colleagues and the familiar families at Mt. Hebron.”

When Sacks takes over at Mt. Hebron, it will mark the third principal change in under a year.  Sacks will replace interim principal Terry Trigg-Scales. Trigg-Scales herself was appointed the temporary position in July when Guy Whitlock unexpectedly transferred to Central Office for the summer after two years as principal. 

Weller, who also has more than 20 years in Montclair schools, was the principal of the former Rand Elementary School during its transition to Charles H. Bullock Elementary School which opened in 2010. Weller was later appointed as the district's assistant superintendent of instruction at the start of 2012. 

In addition to working at the Renaissance School for nearly 10 years, she also served in administrative roles in Teaneck and Franklin Lakes school districts. 

“I’m eager to reconnect directly with students, staff and parents on a day-to-day basis,” said Weller in the same press release. “I realize that being a principal has been one of the most satisfying aspects of my career. I look forward to returning to the Rand Building where I will be reacquainted with many familiar Rand and Bullock school families as they feed into Renaissance Middle School and where I will collaborate with the school’s outstanding staff.”

At the board meeting on Monday, MacCormack said was proud of the appointments and excited for the two women to begin their new roles. 

“We have two experienced and successful leaders willing and eager to take on the leadership roles in both of these middle schools,” said MacCormack.  

Tablefor3 December 18, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Why is Dr. Weller leaving her new post so soon? Is the McCormack pushing her out??
Robin Hoffman December 18, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Dr. Weller was an incredible principal at Rand/Bullock with a very strong connection to the kids there. I couldn't be happier that she's stepping back in as a principal. I know my kids will be too. How many elementary school principals are genuinely missed by their students after they leave? Dr. Weller is that kind of principal. She's too good leading the teachers and the kids to be anywhere else but in school. Thanks goodness!
MontclairJodyRo December 18, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Yes. don't be surprised if she is not for long for Ren.
Audrey Lynn Wanich December 19, 2012 at 04:51 AM
More beureacrats making short sighted decisions, failing to value long term visions. Consistency is key. The policy makers should work at best buy or home depot while the student body vote on who should run their school.
esther January 01, 2013 at 01:01 AM
What is going on in the schools with the principals changing? And what about hiring new blood from within instead of recycling the same old same old? So many teachers have the certification in our district, know the students, know the schools; strengths and weaknesses. Why aren't these young professionals given the opportunities? Why don't they put together teacher teams to do initial interviews as a group representiing the school they know best?


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