By KAYLA J. MARSH
HAZLET — Raritan High School will welcome a new principal for the 2016-17 school year.
The Hazlet Township Board of Education has approved Andrew Piotrowski to become the new head of Raritan High School. He will replace William Smith, who will leave Raritan High as principal at the end of this school year to begin his position as the superintendent of the Point Pleasant school District.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to work for a school district like Hazlet,” Piotrowski said in an interview March 17.
“Just looking at the district’s extensive course offerings, fine and performing arts, sports … there is a deep commitment to academic success, and I am excited to be a part of something special and honored to be part of a district that has its students at the forefront and is committed to their academic excellence.”
Piotrowski is currently employed as principal of St. Martin’s School in Maryland, where during his tenure, student enrollment has increased 10 percent per year and the school’s academic performance has elevated to meet National Blue Ribbon eligibility in all testing grades.
“My success has always been about creating a dynamic education environment where the students are put first,” he said.
“I think it is important to have programs for students to help them be their own.
“Increasing clubs and activities gives students the chance to excel in something that interests them … and I hope to help Hazlet increase in their goals of academic success.”
Piotrowski’s career in education began 16 years ago in the Clifton Public Schools, where he served as a resource room teacher, a track and field and soccer coach, a special education teacher, vice principal and principal.
“I’ve always wanted to help people and be in education and be a catalyst for success for students,” he said.
While an administrator with Clifton Public Schools, the district’s NJASK scores improved through learning improvement initiatives, the boys’ soccer team won the NJSIAA Group IV state championship when he was assistant coach and the girls’ track team won its first North Jersey, Section I, Group IV state championship and the school’s first state championship in the pole vault under his supervision as head coach.
“I have an open-door policy, and I look forward to working with the community and being there and supporting them and helping their kids succeed,” Piotrowski said.
Piotrowski will relocate to the area in June with his wife and two children.
He received a Master’s degree in educational leadership with a concentration in supervision from New Jersey City University and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Education from Rowan University.
“Through the diligent efforts of our personnel committee and administrative team, we are excited that we were able to hire a highly qualified candidate to fill our principal vacancy,” said Superintendent Bernard Bragen in a statement.