HomeCranbury PressPrinceton High School principal search moves to next phase

Princeton High School principal search moves to next phase

The search for the next Princeton High School principal is moving into its next phase, with in-person interviews of candidates to be held later this month, according to Princeton Public Schools officials.

The district received applications from current school district employees and from applicants outside of the district to replace former Princeton High School Principal Frank Chmiel, officials said.

All applications received by the July 30 deadline have been screened, officials said. The next step is to bring in candidates for in-person interviews with the full Princeton High School Principal Search Committee in late August, officials said.

The 20-plus member search committee includes school district employees, parents and school board observers, officials said. The goal is to have a permanent Princeton High School principal in place by Sept. 1.

The new principal will replace Chmiel, who was placed on administrative leave March 17. His contract was not renewed upon the recommendation of Superintendent of Schools Carol Kelley.

Kathie Foster, who is a retired administrator, was appointed to serve as the interim principal by the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education. She will serve through Aug. 31.

Chmiel had led Princeton High School for two years before his dismissal in March. He requested a Donaldson hearing before the school board in response to Kelley’s 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 of schools’ 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 tort claims 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.

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