ALLENTOWN — Todd Pae has been named the new principal of Allentown High School and will succeed Connie Embley, who is retiring. Embley has served as the high school’s principal since 1999.
On June 6, the members of the Upper Freehold Regional School District Board of Education approved the appointment of Pae as Allentown High School’s new principal.
The hiring of Pae will be effective from Aug. 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023 (the end of the 2022-23 school year) after which he may be reappointed by the board. He will receive a prorated salary of $150,000, according to district administrators.
Upper Freehold Regional educates children who reside in Upper Freehold Township and in Allentown in an elementary school, a middle school and the high school.
High school-age residents of Millstone Township attend Allentown High School through a send-receive relationship between Upper Freehold Regional and the Millstone Township K-8 School District.
Upper Freehold Regional Superintendent of Schools Mark Guterl announced Pae’s hiring in a letter dated June 7.
He said Pae has served as the principal of Riverside High School, Riverside Township, Burlington County, for 10 years. Pae previously served as the vice principal at Riverside High School and as a teacher in Ewing Township, Mercer County, for seven years.
“While getting to know Mr. Pae, it is clear he is a passionate, energetic and engaging educational leader,” the superintendent wrote. “He believes in a rigorous academic program that challenges students and prepares them for the future.
“I am confident Mr. Pae will be able to continue the great work of Allentown High School and continue our work to move it forward. He is also an advocate for students, teachers and parents, and his demeanor is welcoming and conversational, which came across in every round of the interview process,” Guterl said.
During the interview process, parents, students, staff members, school board members, and administrators from Upper Freehold Regional and Millstone Township interviewed the candidates who were seeking the principal’s position, according to the superintendent.
Guterl said he and Embley visited Riverside High School to learn more about Pae.
“(Pae) was described during our visit as a true instructional leader, a mentor, very smart, beloved by students, staff and parents, someone who has high expectations, a very approachable person, sees the big picture and has a passion for education.
“Needless to say, when we left our site visit our thoughts were reaffirmed that Mr. Pae was the best person to lead Allentown High School into its next chapter of success.
“I hope that as Mr. Pae meets the AHS community, we can all join in and welcome him by sharing all that makes UFRSD a very special place,” Guterl said.
“I have every confidence Mr. Pae will be an excellent principal and will continue the distinguished academic program we have,” Embley said in the letter. “He has my full support to lead our high school into the future. I look forward to the continued success of Allentown High School under Todd’s leadership.”
In the letter, Pae said, “After numerous meetings with students, parents, staff, administration and members of the Board of Education, it reinforced my strong desire to join the Upper Freehold Regional School District. It is an honor to call Allentown High School my home and serve the students, families and Board of Education in support of the district vision and mission.
“I am fully committed and very grateful to join the flock of Redbirds, ‘Rooted in Community, Inspired to Excellence‘ and working with all the members of the district. Ms. Embley and her staff have provided a foundation of which I will learn, grow and cultivate moving forward,” Pae said.