Still Wanted: Principal for Mt. Hebron

But a new principal has been found for Watchung.


Superintendent Dr. Frank Alvarez named a new principal for Watchung Elementary School on Monday night—Joseph Schmidt, who had been curriculum supervisor for the Morris School District in Morristown.

The veteran educator will replace Principal Peter Turnamian beginning with the 2012-2013 school year.

"He has lots of experience," Alvarez said. "We're excited about this."

However, Alvarez said the school district had not yet been able to find an appropriate replacement for Principal Guy Whitlock at Mount Hebron Middle School, meaning officials will re-advertise the position. Most likely, an interim prinicpal will come on board through the fall, until the right person can be located.

"We're not absolutely satisfied with the candidates we've had so far," Alvarez said. "We'll be going out again for that search."

On Tuesday morning, Alvarez emailed a letter to Mount Hebron staff and parents that said the following:

The Board of Education is re-opening the search for the Mt. Hebron Middle School principal in an effort to attract the best possible candidate.

The search will continue under the guidance of Dr. Clarence Hoover, Interim Superintendent. In the meantime, an interim principal will be appointed before the end of the month.

Please be assured that our Department of Instruction will continue to monitor progress related to the design of the new master schedule and implementation of several new elective courses at Mt. Hebron. Our goal is to be ready in September for a smooth and successful school opening.

Your patience in this matter is appreciated.

 in May—to the surprise of many parents and teachers—that Mount Hebron Principal Whitlock would be transferred to the district's Central Office this summer.

Whitlock, who taught Social Studies and Language Arts at Mount Hebron during the 1990s before serving as the assistant to Alvarez, took over as principal in July 2010.

Under Whitlock's direction, Mount Hebron has been undergoing a transformation in its curriculum, with plans to add several new electives in the fall of 2012.

On Monday night, school board members said they are very excited about the changes taking place at Mount Hebron, noting that booklets outlining all the new electives already had been distributed to the school's students.

Meanwhile, over at Watchung, Turnamian had announced earlier this year that he would be resigning as principal of Watchung Elementary in order to take an assistant superintendent job in Newark.

What do you think of the changes? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Taxpayer2 June 19, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Still Wanted Part 2: What will Mr. Whitlock be doing for $140k next year? No one has answered that ? yet.
Shelley Emling (Editor) June 19, 2012 at 12:48 PM
A new position has been created for him, but it's one that has been created in response to two new mandates from the state related to anti-bullying measures and teacher evaluation requirements.
Townie June 19, 2012 at 06:32 PM
In Taxpayer2's defense, one could argue that a reasonable approach to any unfunded mandate is to stretch or reassign existing staff to cover the requirements.
concerned Mtc taxpayer June 19, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Hey Shelley - Have any other similar (in size) districts hired an administrator to fulfill these duties? West Orange? Bloomfd? Livingston? Millburn? Orange? If so, which ones? If not, how are they complying with these new initiatives (whatever they are)? This position seems like a patronage hire to me.
A. Gideon June 20, 2012 at 01:19 PM
"A new position has been created for him" Ignoring for the moment the questions of the merit of the position or this person being placed in that position, I do have a question I'd like to see addressed: how was money for this found in the budget that had already been approved? ...Andrew


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