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Verona Hires Former Montclair Principal


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Charles Miller, Verona's new director of curriculum.
Charles Miller, Verona’s new director of curriculum.
The Verona Board of Education approved the hiring of Charles Miller as our new director of curriculum. Miller replaces Elizabeth C. Jewett, who announced in May that she will become the new superintendent of Watchung Regional Hills.

Miller was most recently the principal of Glenfield Middle School in Montclair. He resigned from that position on May 3, several days after he dealt with a student who brought a BB gun to school. The incident was widely reported in Montclair news sites, and many commenters on the stories expressed the belief that Miller had been forced out by Montclair Superintendent Penny MacCormack because of the way he handled the matter.

According to a report on BaristaKids on April 25, Miller confiscated the BB gun upon learning of its presence in the school, but did not immediately call Montclair Police.

After Miller’s resignation, a group of Montclair parents started an online petition to demand his reinstatement. They called Miller “one of the finest principals we’ve had in Montclair” and defended his handling of the BB gun incident, saying in part that:

The fact that Charlie Miller did not lock down the school and wait for the Montclair Police to arrive to disarm a 6th grader of a non-lethal hobby gun was a judgment call. One, frankly, that we all agree with. In this case, if Charlie Miller had abdicated the responsibility that he surely felt to use his judgment, the school would have – by dint of bureaucratic necessity – gone into ‘lockdown.’ With students pouring out of busses, half the kids would have been locked inside the school, and half outside. Nothing would have been accomplished – save for more chaos and more squandered hours that might have been spent on something valuable: education. Of course the very thing we need is thoughtful leaders who have the sense and skill to exercise judgment. At the moment of this supposed crises, Charlie Miller swiftly and simply ensured that the school was safe – and once it was, he got back to his one true mission. Dr. MacCormack said herself that it was within his discretion on how to best respond to protect the students and faculty.

Miller, a South Jersey native, begins his new job July 1. He said at the BOE meeting that he was excited to begin work on implementing Verona’s five-year strategic plan, which Jewett presented to the board Monday night. “I am here to work with you,” he said.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citranohttps://myveronanj.com
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Forbes.com. Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].



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