Mark Guterl has been named the new superintendent of schools in the Upper Freehold Regional School District.
Guterl’s appointment became official after approval from interim Monmouth County Superintendent Lester Richens and a vote from the district’s Board of Education on Nov. 5. His initial appointment as superintendent will run through June 2023, after which he may be reappointed by the board.
Guterl, who was previously the district’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, will succeed Richard Fitzpatrick, who retired in October.
During the 2017-18 school year, Guterl served as acting superintendent after Fitzpatrick went on medical leave. He remained acting superintendent as the 2018-19 school year began and after Fitzpatrick retired.
Board President Patricia Hogan said Guterl was hired in 2004 as vice principal of the district’s previous middle school. He was named principal of the Stone Bridge Middle School, the district’s current middle school, in 2007. Guterl was named assistant superintendent in 2014.
Guterl is a resident of Millstone Township and has children who attend Allentown High School.
“Over his years of service to our district, Mark Guterl had critical input into the building plans and development of our new middle school,” Hogan said. “His student-centric approach to education enhances the culture of all our schools, but particularly Stone Bridge Middle School, where he was the principal when the doors opened.”
She said Guterl was a founding member of the Anti Bullying Coalition and Upper Freehold Regional’s district-wide anti-bullying initiative Stand UNited Against Bullying before it became a national campaign.
Hogan said Guterl has continued to develop these programs to suit Upper Freehold Regional students and she said he works with administrators and staff to introduce learning modules and speakers who expand a culture of kindness, inclusion and support.
“Throughout his tenure as a district leader, Mark Guterl has always maintained district-to-parent, district-to-community and district-to-district relationships as a priority,” Hogan said. “His professional philosophy of open communication has enabled our district to maintain the highest level of training standards and technological advances within the confines of a limited budget.
“Mark was the point person with Dr. Fitzpatrick in the completion of the district’s 1-to-1 (laptop computer) initiative. He continues to open up opportunities for our parents, staff and community to work together through the PTA and the Upper Freehold Regional Education Foundation.
“Mark is passionate about education, approachable, fair, technologically savvy and committed to seeing this district continue the upward trajectory we have experienced since Dr. Fitzpatrick came to us in July 2007.
“Through his ingenuity and leadership, Mark has earned the loyalty of every employee in the district and the support of one of the strongest administrations in public schools. The board has complete confidence that Mark Guterl is the perfect candidate for the role of superintendent,” Hogan said.