Holmdel school board names Kukoda new high school principal


HOLMDEL – The Holmdel Township Schools Board of Education has voted to appoint Matt Kukoda as the new principal of Holmdel High School.

Kukoda assumed his new responsibilities on July 15, according to a press release from the school district.

Kukoda, who served as the supervisor of curriculum and instruction in the Wall Township Public Schools before becoming the supervisor of athletics, health and physical education at Holmdel High School last year, brings extensive administrative and classroom experience to the position of principal, according to the press release.

He has a master’s degree in education from Seton Hall University and is currently a doctoral candidate at the same school.

“Since joining the district, Mr. Kukoda has distinguished himself by demonstrating highly effective leadership and professionalism,” school board President Vicky Flynn said following the board’s vote.

“Matt’s leadership skills were particularly impressive given the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic over the last year,” Flynn said. “He brings a new level of energy and competence to this position and we are confident Mr. Kukoda will continue to meet our high expectations.”

Holmdel Interim Superintendent of Schools Lee Seitz reviewed resumes of dozens of interested candidates for the high school principal’s position, but was drawn back to Kukoda’s integrity, intelligence and energy, and his established reputation as a leader within the Holmdel school community who knows and is respected by students, staff members and the community, according to the press release.

“I have hired dozens of principals over the years and rarely do you see someone so prepared to take the next step in his or her career,” Seitz said about Kukoda. “His strong grasp of educational issues, his experience working in Holmdel, and his willingness to make tough decisions made Matt the right candidate to lead the high school into its next half-century of existence.”

Kukoda said, “I am excited to have this opportunity to give back to the Holmdel school community in a meaningful way, as principal of our high school.

“I thank the board (members) for their faith and confidence in my ability to lead this school, especially during this critical time as we emerge from this pandemic.

“I look forward to getting to work immediately and to start preparing our school for a successful 2021-22 school year,” he said.

The high school principal’s salary for the 2021-22 school year will be $145,000, according to a board meeting agenda.

District administrators have begun a search for a new supervisor of athletics, health and physical education, according to the press release announcing Kukoda’s promotion.

In other business, the board appointed Seitz to continue in his role as Holmdel’s interim superintendent of schools from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022, or to an earlier date if the board appoints a permanent superintendent.

Seitz is paid a per diem rate of $750 as approved by the Monmouth County Executive County Superintendent, according to a board meeting agenda.