Kathie Foster, the former superintendent of the Robbinsville Public Schools, is slated to be named the interim head of Princeton High School at the Princeton Board of Education’s next meeting.
If the school board approves Superintendent Carol Kelley’s recommendation, Foster would serve as the principal until the end of the school year. Foster served as the interim superintendent of curriculum and instruction for the Princeton Public Schools in 2022.
Foster served as the superintendent of schools in Robbinsville from 2016 to 2020. Previously, she was the assistant superintendent in Robbinsville. She has also served as the principal of the Pond Road Middle School. She earned her doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, her master’s degree in education administration from Rider University, and her bachelor’s degree from Hope College.
She will replace embattled principal Frank Chmiel, whose employment status with the district is unclear. An email went out from district officials to parents on Friday announcing new interim leadership at Princeton High School. Supporters of Chmiel held a rally in front of the high school Monday.
Many students and parents have questions about why Chmiel will no longer be leading the school. Under New Jersey law, personnel matters are private unless the employee chooses to allow the discussion to be public. Employees receive a notice called a Rice Notice informing them that their jobs will be discussed. The employee can opt to make the discussion public. the employee can also release employment records and reviews, but the district can not. Under the state’s open public records law, personnel records are excluded from disclosure.
The email sent out to parents Monday afternoon announcing Kelley’s recommendation to the board:
Dear PPS Families, Parents, Students and Staff,
This letter serves as a follow-up to the update I shared on Friday regarding leadership changes at Princeton High School. When I arrived at Princeton High School early this morning, Acting Co-Principals Rashone Johnson and Cecilia Birge were already engaged in meetings with students and staff. While I know that change can be difficult for some, our building leaders and school counselors are working as a team to support students and ensure a seamless transition for our school community.
At the next meeting of the Board of Education, I will recommend that the Board appoint Dr. Kathie Foster as the interim principal of Princeton High School through the remainder of the school year. Dr. Foster, the former superintendent of the Robbinsville Public School District from 2016 to 2020, has decades of experience as a leader and an educator. I am confident that under her leadership, Princeton High School students will continue to thrive. Many of you may already know Dr. Foster. She served as the PPS interim assistant superintendent of curriculum & instruction in 2022. She was an asset to PPS during that time and she has the advantage of knowing our schools and our district well.
Prior to serving as the superintendent in Robbinsville, Dr. Foster was the assistant superintendent in Robbinsville, and principal of the Pond Road Middle School. She earned her doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, her master’s degree in education administration from Rider University, and her bachelor’s degree from Hope College. Dr. Foster is highly respected among educators in our area and throughout New Jersey.
For those of you who have emailed me in the last few days, please know that I have read your emails and that I will do my best to respond to all of them as quickly as possible.
Dr. Carol L. Kelley
Superintendent of Schools