Jared Warren to serve as acting principal of Princeton High School

Jared Warren

Jared Warren, a Yardville resident who has served as an assistant principal at Princeton High School for the past seven years, will serve as the acting principal of the high school after current principal Jessica Baxter leaves on Jan. 15.

Prior to working in the Princeton Public Schools district, Warren served as a special education teacher at Hunterdon Central Regional High School. He also served as an assistant football coach, assistant track and field coach, and head girls track and field coach at Hunterdon Central.

Warren earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Widener University and completed his graduate and post-graduate education at the College of New Jersey, where he received his master’s degree in special education and his certification in educational leadership. 

Interim Superintendent of Schools Barry Galasso announced Warren’s appointment as acting principal in an email to staff and parents on Monday.

“I am confident that Mr. Warren will do an excellent job with the support of his outstanding administrative team, including assistant principals Rashone Johnson and Cecilia Birge, as well as supervisor of school counseling Dr. Kristina Donovan, dean of students Diana Lygas, and Brian Dzbenski, supervisor of physical education and director of athletics,” Galasso wrote.

“Our primary goal during this transition is to make sure that our high school students receive the traditional, outstanding Princeton High School academic and social experience as they move toward graduation,” Galasso wrote. “Mr. Warren will make that a top priority and will continue the innovative and student-centered approach to learning that is a hallmark of a Princeton High School education.”

Galasso said officials have put procedures in place to select a permanent principal and will share their methodology with the public at the school board’s December public meeting.

Baxter officially was hired by the Randolph Board of Education on Nov. 17 to serve as the principal of Randolph High School. She was hired to be the principal of Princeton High School in 2019, and previously served as an assistant principal at the high school for seven years.

Considered by many to be a caring, competent leader, Baxter was drawn into a controversy this past summer over an incident that happened out of school after a video was posted of students and former students at a private graduation party that many people in the community found inappropriate. Baxter wrote a letter to parents after the incident and then came under fire for how she handled the situation.

Baxter has led the high school during a challenging period due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, the more than 200 teachers and staff members as the high school had to abruptly shift to remote learning. Baxter worked with staff members to create the first ever virtual graduation for high school students, and also oversaw the shift to a hybrid learning model at the high school this fall.

“She presided over the high school in uncertain and difficult times with grace, compassion, and insight,” Galasso said in his email. “Colleagues at the high school praise Ms. Baxter for being warm, proactive, and a strong advocate for students.”