School board seeks waiver to allow interim schools superintendent to lead for another year

Princeton school board to launch superintendent search in early January 2025

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The Princeton Public Schools Board of Education is seeking a waiver to allow Interim Superintendent of Schools Kathie Foster to continue in that role through June 30, 2025, while it searches for a permanent superintendent.

Foster is a retired administrator. State law allows school boards to employ retired administrators in interim or acting roles for up to two years, or a total of 24 months.

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She was appointed interim superintendent of schools in November 2023. She is approaching 24 months and cannot exceed the time limit without approval from the New Jersey Commissioner of Education.

Foster filled in as the interim Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction from December 2021 to June 2022. She was the acting principal at Princeton High School from March to September 2023 after Principal Frank Chmiel was placed on administrative leave.

She was appointed after the school board granted a paid leave of absence to Superintendent of Schools Carol Kelley, ahead of her resignation that takes effect Aug. 31, 2024.

Foster was going to serve as the interim superintendent through June 30, 2024, but the school board would like her to stay on for another year through June 30, 2025, school board president Dafna Kendal said.

“The staff members also are confident and comfortable with Foster’s leadership, and that is important,” she added.

The school board had planned to begin the search for a permanent superintendent of schools after it reorganized in January 2024, but “that discussion never happened,” she said.

The search for a permanent superintendent of schools will launch in early January 2025, Kendal said.

Foster retired as the superintendent of schools in the Robbinsville Public School District in 2020. She had previously served as the principal of the district’s Pond Road Middle School.

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