Millstone Twp. School District reorganizes

Superintendent invites public to community meetings on Oct. 6-7


Staff Writer

MILLSTONE – Students will come to find familiar faces behind different doors when they return to school this fall.

The Millstone Township School District’s administrative team has undergone almost a complete reorganization this summer. As of now, the district only has to fill two vacancies to have a complete team by the time school starts.

According to Superintendent of Schools Mary Anne Donahue, the school district has begun advertising as part of its efforts to fill the two vacant assistant principal positions, and it already has about 100 applicants.

The Millstone Township Elementary School will need a new assistant principal this year since the district recently promoted Brandy Krueger to principal. Krueger held the assistant principal position for the past four years and will now earn an annual salary of $104,500 as the school’s principal.

Former elementary school Principal Laura Vetere was recently promoted as the district’s new director of curriculum and instruction, a position that was created to replace the district’s second assistant superintendent position.

Donahue vacated the second assistant superintendent position to become superintendent when former Superintendent William J. Setaro left the district to head the nearby Freehold Township Elementary/ Middle School District.

Donahue started her new job on July 1. She will earn $146,000 a year as per her three-year contract with the district.

Donahue began working for the school district 10 years ago as the director of curriculum and instruction. When she was promoted to second assistant superintendent, the district eliminated the curriculum director position.

“[But] now it is in the best interest of the district to go back to having a director of curriculum and instruction position,” Donahue said.

Donahue said a director earns less than an assistant superintendent. Vetere will earn $128,000 per year in the position, whereas Donahue would have earned $137,000 per year as the assistant superintendent.

Vetere, who served as the elementary school principal for six years, previously worked as an assistant principal in Howell Township, according to Donahue.

The district will also have to fill the middle school’s assistant principal position, since Michelle Vella, who held that position for the past four years, was recently promoted to principal of that school. Former middle school Principal Daniel Bland left the district this summer to further his career as the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in Hunterdon County’s Flemington-Raritan Regional School District.

While Bland would have received an annual salary of $128,000 had he remained in the principal’s position, Vella was hired at $104,500 per year, according to Donahue.

Both Vella and Krueger assumed their new positions on Aug. 1, according to Donahue.

“They are both talented, energetic and intelligent,” Donahue said. “They both come from a math background and were very instrumental in planning and implementing our new math program, which has increased and improved our students’ math scores.”

Donahue said both women are “excellent staff developers” who have a knowledge of the school buildings and the people they will continue to work with.”

Although Vella and Krueger each earned $94,000 per year in their assistant principal positions, Donahue said the district will hire their replacements at $90,000 per year.

“Through all of these changes, there is a cost savings to the township,” Donahue said. “Overall, there appears to be a significant cost savings to the district in administrative salaries.”

The school district will seek public input on its new hires and in devising a five-year strategic plan, according to Donahue.

Donahue said Millstone residents will receive a letter in early September asking them to participate in the district’s upcoming strategic-planning meetings.

“This is my first attempt [as the new superintendent] to reach out to the public,” Donahue said.

“We will hold a huge strategic-planning session on October 6 and 7,” she said, “and we are inviting the public to participate.”

During the strategic-planning meetings, community members will help those working in the school district create a focus for educational efforts over the next five years. Those involved will also assist the school district in filling its two vacancies.