South River welcomes new superintendent of schools

SOUTH RIVER – After months of searching, the Board of Education approved Sylvia Zircher as the borough’s new superintendent of schools for South River.

Current Superintendent Michael J. Pfister will retire effective July 1.

“For nearly a quarter of a century, it has been my privilege and honor to serve the children of South River. Without question, South River Public Schools is an exemplary school district for which we can be extremely proud. Through the years, I have genuinely enjoyed partnering with an immeasurable number of dedicated stakeholders whose resolute efforts resulted in providing the highest quality educational opportunities. The school district is well positioned for a bright future and is ready for the renewal that comes with new leadership,” Pfister said in a prepared statement.

Pfister was superintendent for approximately seven years. He was hired in 1992 as assistant principal of South River High School. In 2000, he was appointed to high school principal and in 2003 Pfister was appointed to assistant superintendent. In 2010 he was appointed to superintendent, he said.

“While I look forward to the opportunities retirement will bring, it still saddens me to be leaving this remarkable school district. Students, parents, teachers, administrators, board members and members of the community have been a central part of my life. The many relationships that I have developed over the years will be truly missed. The support that everyone has provided me is unparalleled,” Pfister said in a prepared statement.

Pfister and the board began looking for his replacement on March 17, according to Debra Zemann, secretary to the superintendent.

The board officially voted to appoint Zircher on May 25, according to Zemann.

“Working with children and families has always been my passion, and over the last 18 years I have proudly been a teacher, assistant principal, principal and director of curriculum and instruction. My experiences in these roles have cultivated the core beliefs I embed in my daily practice. Ensuring every student has the opportunity to reach his/her fullest potential, and making sure that we meet the diverse needs of our teachers and students are the values I intend to continue to foster in South River,” Zircher said in a prepared statement.

Previously, Zircher was the acting superintendent and director of curriculum and instruction at Hamilton Township School District, according to Zemann.

“As I begin my role as superintendent in July, I look forward to collaborating with our entire learning community to prepare students for a bright and productive future. In the fall, I will hold several meet-and-greet sessions in order to get to know our staff and families personally. In the interim, I will collaborate with our Board of Education, your current superintendent, Mr. Pfister, and our district administrative team to ensure a smooth transition,” Zircher said in a prepared statement.

“I count myself extraordinarily lucky to work for such an outstanding district in a community that greatly values educational success. Thank you for all of the wonderful memories. Please know that I am forever grateful and wish all of you the very best,” Pfister said.

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