Appleby principal retires in Spotswood

SPOTSWOOD – After working in the education field for 39 years, Karen Boyle, principal of E. Raymond Appleby Elementary School, will retire effective Sept. 1.

Having been the school’s principal since 2002, Boyle’s resignation was accepted by the Spotswood Board of Education on June 20.

“I have been blessed to have had such a great career and to have met, taught and worked with so many wonderful students, parents and staff members. It has been rewarding and fulfilling, and I hope I left my students a little more well rounded and determined to be good citizens,” Boyle said.

Boyle began her teaching career in 1978 at Spotswood High School as a social studies teacher. She taught there for seven years before transferring to Memorial Middle School in Spotswood. In 2000, she served as the supervisor of social studies, art and music.

Nancy Torchiano, principal of G. Austin Schoenly Elementary School, will take the reins at Appleby starting Sept. 1, Boyle said. 

“[Torchiano] has been part of the Spotswood School District for 10 years. She taught middle school math, fifth grade and enrichment/gifted and talented classes. She has also served as chair for elementary curriculum. For the last two years, she has been principal at Schoenly School in Spotswood,” Boyle said.

Torchiano graduated from Hofstra University with a degree in Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, but ended up detouring through the corporate world before starting her career in education, she said.

Prior to coming to the borough, Torchiano worked at a private school for six years as a kindergarten teacher. She then decided to go back to school to become qualified in mathematics education. Upon completion of her certification, she was hired as a sixth grade math teacher at Memorial Middle School. Torchiano transferred to Appleby the following year to become a fifth grade teacher.

“I was thrilled to have the opportunity to teach multiple subjects and was extremely fortunate to work with an amazing group of educators. I was at Appleby for seven years, first as a fifth grade teacher and then became an elementary department chair and taught Appleby’s gifted and talented students. During my tenure at Appleby I went back to school, yet again, to get my Master’s of Art in Educational Leadership. I am, what many would consider, a ‘lifelong learner,'” Torchiano said.

It was shortly after the school year ended that she and her staff found out about Boyle’s retirement, according to Torchiano.

“I had the privilege of being Schoenly’s principal for the past two years and I enjoyed every minute of it. From our wonderful students and families to working alongside an incredible staff, it was truly an amazing experience,” Torchiano said. “Ms. Boyle served the Spotswood Public Schools for 39 years and has been a wonderful mentor for me. I wish her all the best as she starts this next chapter of her journey.”

Jennifer Asprocolas will now lead Schoenly, according to Torchiano.

“I am thrilled about this appointment as I have worked in district with Asprocolas for nearly a decade and know her to be a passionate educator who cares deeply about our students and the Spotswood community,” Tochiano said.

Torchiano continued, “Saying goodbye to my Schoenly family is bittersweet. I learned so much while I was there which has helped me to evolve as an educational leader and has prepared me for the next steps of my professional journey. Coming back to Appleby is like going home. I am so excited to be back and have the opportunity to work alongside Appleby’s talented and dedicated staff.”

“The best part is I get to welcome back old and new friends [and] students on Sept. 7. My sincerest thanks to our acting superintendent, Graham Peabody, and the Spotswood Board of Education for this incredible opportunity, as well as their continual confidence and support.”

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