New Principals, Board Members In Brick

The current Board of Education are, (seated, left to right): Board President Stephanie Wholrab, Melita Gagliardi, John Lamela. (Standing, left to right): Daisy Haffner, Maria Foster, Victoria Pakala, Jessica Clayton. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

BRICK – New Board of Education members Jessica Clayton and Maria Foster took their oaths of office at the district’s Reorganization Meeting held on Jan. 4, and they got right down to business by voting for new principals for Herbertsville Elementary School and Veterans Memorial Elementary School.

Walter Hrycenko would be taking the reins as principal at Herbertsville Elementary, replacing Bonnie Giles, who is retiring.

Hrycenko has been the District Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction: Science, and was previously the district’s assistant superintendent and superintendent from 2009-2012.

“Mr. Hrycenko is a consummate educator and I know he will do an outstanding job at Herbertsville Elementary,” said acting Superintendent of Schools Dennis Filippone during the meeting.

Meanwhile, the district is in the process of “doing everything we can” to find an interim science supervisor to replace Hrycenko, Filippone said.

However, Hrycenko would remain as an advisor with the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) High School Academies, with the assistant principal at Herbertsville Elementary filling in for him as needed.

Hrycenko’s salary would be increased from $160,000 to $166,000, which is a contractual requirement, Filippone said, but the district would be saving some $28,000 to $32,000 by filling Hrycenko’s previous position with someone who would be serving on an interim basis.

Hrycenkos’s salary had been frozen for many years, Filippone added.

Brick Memorial High School assistant principal Jonathan Barresi was named new principal of Veterans Memorial Elementary School, replacing interim Principal Dr. Lynn Coddington.

Barresi’s salary would increase from $117,263 to $131,225.

There were 68 applicants for the two principal positions, said Sean Cranston, director of human resources for the school district.

In other news, starting with the 2017-2018 school year, the State of New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) is requiring school safety and security changes that include the appointment of a School Safety Specialist.

“The outlines are vague right now,” Filippone said, but the NJDOE would hold training seminars in Trenton for the position. The role of the safety specialist could include input on capital projects designed to enhance safety, such as vestibule upgrades and signage upgrades.

Brick Memorial High School Assistant Principal Dan O’Cone has volunteered for the position, Filippone said, and he would receive no additional stipend.

“He was willing to take it on and he’s doing it for the district,” Filippone said.

And finally, Board of Education meetings will have a new venue, and will no longer be held at Brick High School since the meetings interfere with school-based activities, such as play rehearsals and other practices, Filippone said.

Going forward, the meetings would be held at the Brick Professional Development Center (BPDC), located adjacent to the central administration offices at the Veterans Complex on Hendrickson Avenue.

The BPDC is a more centralized location for the meetings, and is a more intimate setting than the voluminous Brick High School auditorium, bringing the community closer together in a smaller room, Filippone said.

During the Reorganizational Meeting, Stephanie Wohlrab was named new board president and Melita Gagliardi new board vice president.

The next Board of Education meeting will be on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m.