James Earle
Montclair High School Principal James Earle. ERIN ROLL/STAFF

By ERIN ROLL
roll@montclairlocal.news

James Earle may be stepping down as the principal of Montclair High School.

In a letter sent to parents on Friday, Superintendent Kendra Johnson said that Earle was being considered as a sole finalist for the assistant superintendent role in the West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional District.

Gerri Hutner, a spokesperson for the West Windsor-Plainsboro district, said Friday that Superintendent David Aderhold had recommended the hiring of Earle as the assistant superintendent. However, the board of education will have to vote on Earle’s hiring during its next meeting on Tuesday, June 12.

“Although this change may be unsettling, I want to reassure you that Montclair High School is a top priority and will continue to receive our support and attention. Mr. Earle, with his experience, background and record of high achievement, will be hard to replace. However, I believe we have an opportunity to build on his expertise and create positive change to provide a top-notch education for our students,” Johnson said. She concluded, “Please join me in wishing Mr. Earle well as he pursues this much-deserved opportunity.”

“Principal Earle is a committed, gifted educator, with a demonstrated passion for supporting the students under his care. His departure is a real loss for our community. However, after benefiting from his years of supporting so many of Montclair’s children, now it is our turn to support him in pursuing his own professional goals. We all wish Mr. Earle great fortune and success in his future endeavors, wish his family all the best, and thank him for his many years of service,” said BOE President Laura Hertzog.

“In my view, Principal Earle has done an excellent job at MHS. He has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to students. Whatever he decides, I wish him well and thank him,” said BOE Vice President Joe Kavesh.

If Earle accepts the job in West Windsor-Plainsboro, Montclair will search for a new principal during the summer. The goal is to advertise the principal vacancy by June 14, and then to review applications and set up interviews by June 28, according to Johnson’s letter. There are also plans to have a community meet-and-greet with potential candidates sometime after July 16.

Earle came to the Montclair school district in 2009 after serving as a principal in the Trenton school district.

Earle had also been considered as a superintendent candidate in Bloomfield in 2013.

This is a developing story. Follow the Montclair Local for more information.