NEW HANOVER: Principal prepared for new position

By Geoffrey Wertime, Staff Writer
   NEW HANOVER — It’s shaping up to be a year of novelty in the district, as the New Hanover School is set to start a new year with a fresh principal and a different superintendent.
   Principal Brian McBride is using the summer to settle into his new role with the district, and said he feels at home there.
   ”It’s terrific,” he said. “I really enjoy the small family environment they have here, with a very dedicated staff. I just feel a strong commitment to student education and learning, so all that combined was my ideal, and that attracted me here.
   ”I was an elementary teacher at a small school in a K-8 district, so this is basically returning to a similar district,” he added, describing his previous work with the Clementon School District.
   Mr. McBride was hired in July, and came to New Hanover after an academic year as the director of community services and basic skills at Salem County Vocational Technical Schools. Before that, he was a history teacher at Williamstown High School for three years. He also was a corporate educator with Aetna/US Healthcare.
   His previous career was in the New Jersey National Guard, where he served for nine years as a flight refueling specialist.
   For now, Mr. McBride said he plans to “continue the same great learning environment they have here” as well as help incorporate modern technology and a “global perspective” into the classroom.
   ”I’m excited for the opportunity to be here and to continue a tradition of being an administrator in a great school district,” he said.
   Interim Superintendent Robert Smith said Mr. McBride was chosen from about 120 applicants for the position, which was left vacant after the resignation of superintendent and principal Terri Sackett last spring. She left both posts at the end of June, after which the positions were made separate and Dr. Smith and Mr. McBride came on board.
   Dr. Smith said he and a group of parents, teachers and another administrator narrowed the candidates down to a list of 10 for interviews. Of them, six came in and two of those went on to meet with the Board of Education, and Dr. Smith said he recommended the board hire Mr. McBride for the 10-month position.
   The superintendent is himself a newcomer to the district, having served previously as the interim superintendent for the districts in nearby Upper Freehold and Plumsted. He took over in New Hanover July 1, serving two days per week in the summer and one during the school year.
   Dr. Smith originally retired from being superintendent of the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional School District, where he worked from 1997 to 2005.
   ”I was home for a couple of months, and then the superintendent in Upper Freehold gave me a call because he was retiring and they hadn’t decided on a replacement yet,” Dr. Smith said. “I stayed for two years.”
   ”The part-time status here is perfect for where I am with my life right now,” he said. “It just works out.”
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