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School board makes acting principal, assistant principal appointments permanent

A principal and an assistant principal who had been appointed to their positions in an “acting” capacity have been permanently appointed to those posts at the Johnson Park School and Princeton High School.

Angela Siso Stentz was named the permanent principal at the Johnson Park and Cecilia X. Birges was appointed to permanent assistant principal at Princeton High.

The appointments were made at the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education’s Feb. 23 meeting, and were to take effect Feb. 24.

Stentz replaced former Johnson Park School Principal Robert Ginsberg, who was named to become the school district’s interim assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. Stentz was appointed to fill in as the acting principal in June 2020.

Stentz was earning – and will continue to earn – $156,000 annually, plus $4,800 in longevity pay.

Stentz has worked for the Princeton school district for more than 20 years. She started her career in the district as a special education teacher. For nearly 10 years, she was the K-12 director of guidance, and then became an assistant principal at Princeton High School.

At the time of her appointment as acting principal, then-Superintendent of Schools Steve Cochrane said Stentz identifies as Hispanic and a person of color. He said she understands Spanish, and would bring to the principal’s post the qualities and heart of a great elementary school principal.

Birge was appointed to become an acting assistant principal at Princeton High School at the school board’s July 2020 meeting, replacing Stentz upon her promotion to acting principal at the grades K-5 Johnson Park School.

Birge is one of three assistant principals at Princeton High School. Since her appointment as acting assistant principal, she was earning – and will continue to earn – $114,000 annually.

Birge taught math and special education at Princeton High School. She taught at the high school in 2012, but left to teach at the Dwight Morrow School in Englewood. She returned to Princeton High School in 2015.

In addition to teaching math and special education, Birge had been the head coach for the high school’s speech and debate team. She also had been the assistant coach for the high school’s girls volleyball team, and also coached its junior varsity volleyball team.

Birge, who is Chinese American, had been the community’s liaison with the district’s Chinese American community. She worked with the high school guidance counselors and the school district administration to bridge cultural gaps and promote a continuing dialogue on race relations.

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