Meet the New Elementary School Administrators
One job left to fill
The reorganization of the Mahwah School District’s elementary schools administration is almost complete, as of Wednesday night’s school board meeting.
In the wake of three elementary school principals – Andrea Petho of Joyce Kilmer, Catherine Bennett of Betsy Ross, and Dr. Patricia Hanratty of George Washington – retiring at the end of this year, the Board of Education has been interviewing both internal and external candidates for the positions.
“As much as we will miss those who are leaving, I really think that we have such exciting things happening,” Superintendent Dr. Charles Montesano said.
“And I think the fact that they all get to start together provides them with a unique opportunity to grow and really become colleagues together.”
Of the mostly internal hires and one newcomer to the district, Montesano said, “they are all outstanding educators.”
Christine Zimmerman, the current Lenape Meadows principal, will be moving to the open principal position at Betsy Ross.
“Christine is particularly involved and interested in curriculum,” Montesano said, which is part of the reason why she was selected for this position, which will include curriculum coordination between all Mahwah elementary schools.
Kevin Ulmer, who had served as the assistant principal at Joyce Kilmer this year, will move to be the principal of George Washington next year.
Caridad Chrisomalis, who has taught World Languages, particularly Spanish, and this year moved to Lenape Meadows, will take over the principal position at Lenape.
llison Schlesser, an Suffern High grad who taught at Betsy Ross, will be moved to the assistant principal position at Lenape.
The one external hire is Michael DeTuro, who “talked about the initiatives we are working on as if he had worked he for four years,” Montesano said. He will be the new Joyce Kilmer Principal.
The new principals will make $117,000 a year, and assistants will make $108K.
All hires will be effective July 1. The only position left to hire for is the JK vice principal.
“We do have a lot of people moving from within the district. Throughout our interview processes, these people really proved themselves to be the best options,” Montesano said.