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Home Cranbury Press Search for a new Princeton High School principal underway

Search for a new Princeton High School principal underway

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Search for a new Princeton High School principal underway

Former principal has taken his case for reinstatement to the state Office of Administrative Law and the state Commissioner of Education 

Princeton school district officials have launched a search for a permanent principal for Princeton High School, with the goal of having the new principal in place by Sept. 1.

The new principal will replace former Princeton High School Principal Frank Chmiel. His contract was not renewed by the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education upon the recommendation of Superintendent of Schools Carol Kelley.

Meanwhile, the school board appointed Kathie Foster to serve as interim principal, after Chmiel was placed on administrative leave in March. She was appointed to become the interim principal in April and will serve through Aug. 31.

School district officials posted the Princeton High School principal’s vacancy on the district website July 10. The deadline to apply is July 30. The opening also will be posted on educator recruitment networks, officials said.

A search committee will be appointed that includes school district employees, parents and a school board representative. It will screen and interview qualified candidates, officials said.

A survey seeking the community’s input on the characteristics being sought in the new principal has been posted online – https://us5.list-manage.com/survey?u=23b4b60f5780197663c36eeca&id=f2a0545205&e=*%7CUNIQID%7C*. The search committee will use the responses to screen and interview candidates.

The survey asks participants to rate the importance of characteristics such as accountability, collaboration, community focus, compassion, empowering, flexibility, growth mindset, innovative, transformative, trustworthy and visibility.

The survey is open to Princeton High School students, parents, employees, and all Princeton and Cranbury residents. The Cranbury Public Schools sends its high school students to Princeton High School.

The survey was emailed to Princeton Public Schools caregivers, students and staff. It also was sent to Princeton High School alumni who graduated in 2021, 2022 and this year, officials said.

School board president Dafna Kendal said school district officials realize that the search for a new principal is important to the community.

“Our goal is to find an exceptional candidate who will lead Princeton High School for many years to come,” Kendal said.

Chmiel had led Princeton High School for two years before he was dismissed March 17. He requested a Donaldson hearing before the school board in response to the superintendent of schools’ recommendation to not renew his contract.

A school district employee whose contract is not being renewed has the right to a written statement of reasons for the non-renewal, according to the New Jersey School Boards Association.

An informal meeting may be held before the school board to convince it to offer a new contract, despite the superintendent’s recommendation. It may be held in private or in public.

Chmiel chose to hold the Donaldson hearing in public at a special school board meeting May 15. The school board voted to uphold Kelley’s recommendation to not renew Chmiel’s contract at the end of the five-hour meeting.

Chmiel has taken his case to the state Office of Administrative Law and the state Commissioner of Education, according to published reports on TapIntoPrinceton and The Dailey Princetonian, which is Princeton University’s student newspaper.

Chmiel is appealing the school board’s vote to uphold Kelley’s recommendation to dismiss him. The superintendent makes a recommendation, but it is up to the school board to take action.

Attorney David Schroth, who represents Chmiel, also filed a torts claim notice. It puts the school district on notice of a potential civil lawsuit, the reports said.

The appeal and tort claims notice were filed June 14.