New administrators join Jackson schools

New administrators
join Jackson schools

JACKSON — The three people asked to join the Jackson School District’s administrative team following the retirement of three school leaders only got to wave to the crowd at a recent Board of Education meeting, but all said they are looking forward to really getting to know the district they have now chosen to call home.

"I’m excited to become partners with the parents and students of Jackson," said Salvatore J. Colatrella, who was hired as the new district Director of Special Services. "I believe parental input is an integral part of making sure we are helping our children become the best students and the best young adults they can be."

Also joining the district’s administrative team are two new assistant principals:

Thomas Z. Tarver, a 1987 Jackson Memorial High School graduate, will return to his alma mater to oversee the ninth grade as assistant principal;

Dr. Michael Raymond will return to his New Jersey roots from Florida to assume the duties of assistant principal at the Crawford-Rodriguez Elementary School.

Colatrella, who has served as the Director of Special Services for the Holmdel Public Schools and as Assistant Director of Special Services of the South Orange and Maplewood School District, was hired by the board to replace Barbara Kane as the Director of Special Services. Kane retires in August and Colatrella will begin on or before Aug. 30.

According to information provided by the board, some administrative restructuring was also necessary following the retirement of Switlik Elementary School Principal Ronald Janesko and Johnson Elementary School Assistant Principal Linda Janesko.

The changes approved by the board include:

Terrence Kenney will move from the principal of the McAuliffe Middle School to become the principal of the Switlik Elementary School;

Kevin DiEugenio was named the new principal of the McAuliffe Middle School. DiEugenio has been the assistant princi­pal there for two years and was assistant principal at the high school for one year;

John Kossmann will take over the du­ties of assistant principal of the McAuliffe school. Kossmann has served as assistant principal at the high school and at the Goetz Middle School. He is being replaced at the high school by Tarver;

Tina Topoleski will move from assis­tant principal of the Crawford-Rodriguez Elementary School to assistant principal of the Johnson Elementary School. She is being replaced at Crawford-Rodriguez by Raymond.

"Of course our outgoing administrators will be missed, but we are looking for­ward to having these three educators join our team," said Superintendent of Schools Thomas Gialanella. "Their energy, skills and expertise will fit right into our dis­trict and I’m confident the public will em­brace these changes."

In addition to his experience as a di­rector and assistant director of special services, Colatrella spent eight years as a school psychologist in the Livingston and Kearny school districts and was an ad­junct psychology professor at Montclair State University from 1994 to 2003.

Colatrella earned his undergraduate degree at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and earned three master’s degrees at Montclair State University in Communication/Theatre, Educational Psychology and Educational Administration.

"Among my reigning philosophies is that parents and educators need to work together to develop the potential that ex­ists in every child," Colatrella said. "Together we can be on the cutting edge of research, innovations and historically effective methods to bring out the best in all of our students."

After starting out as a fourth and fifth grade teacher in Florida, Raymond went on to become the assistant principal of the Crystal Lakes Elementary School in Boynton Beach, Fla. A graduate of Ewing High School in New Jersey, he earned his undergraduate degree in economics at Stockton State College, his master’s de­gree from Nova Southeastern University in Florida and his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Lynn University in Florida.

"I’m familiar with the Jackson School District and with all the special chal­lenges that exist when a district is grow­ing as quickly as this area is," Raymond said. "I look forward to taking the skills and experiences I’ve had in a district that grows by almost 5,500 new students ev­ery year and putting them into practice here."

Raymond said he is looking forward to participating in and contributing to the district’s professional development pro­gram. As assistant principal in his former district, Raymond was a key to setting and developing goals for the school im­provement plan, according to information provided by the board.

"Teachers and educational leaders need to take an active role in making sure they remain at their highest possible potential," he said. "I see a lot of similari­ties between my current district and Jackson and I’m looking forward to doing whatever I can to make a difference to the students of Jackson."

After graduating from Jackson Memorial High School in 1987, Tarver went on to Rutgers University, where he earned his undergraduate degree in Sports Administration. He continued his education at Georgian Court University, where he earned his special education certification, and at Fairleigh Dickinson University, where he earned his master’s degree in Educational Leadership.

He was a special education teacher in the Lakewood School District and at Manalapan High School, where he has been teaching since 1997 and where he served as varsity football coach.

Tarver said the Jackson School District’s mission of creating "life-long learners" is something that speaks to his own love of learning and of the Jackson community.

"I have a history here that is very im­portant to me and I respect what this dis­trict does to create a well-rounded stu­dent who will continue to love to learn throughout life," Tarver said. "When the opportunity arose to come back here and contribute to the district that had such an impact on me, I couldn’t pass it up."

Tarver said he is looking forward to working with the high school staff and to being an advocate and adviser for stu­dents.

"I’ve got a lot of energy and a healthy respect for that fact that a successful re­lationship is centered on communication and dedication," he said. "Jackson has grown to become an outstanding school district and I’m very, very pleased to be back."

DiEugenio said he is looking forward to picking up the reigns from Kenney as principal of the McAuliffe Middle School.

Among his goals for the coming year: revising the school to reflect more time in math instruction, seeking out several technology grants and helping to add re­mediation classes for students in need.

"The faculty and students make McAuliffe a great place to work," he said. "The family atmosphere that has been a tradition at McAuliffe will continue. I plan on meeting with parents on a monthly basis during our ‘Coffee with the Principal’ programs and working to pro­mote our already long list of service learning programs."