Millburn BOE Approves First Principal of the Washington School


MILLBURN, NJ – The Millburn Township Board of Education is rapidly preparing the newly acquired Washington School, a fifth grade academy, for the start of September 2017.

The BOE has approved a resolution to hire Mr. Peter Mercurio, the current principal of Millburn’s Wyoming School, to take the helm as the first principal of the new Washington School.

The Washington School was acquired as a part a recent referendum passed by the residents of Millburn Township to accommodate the growing student population in the township.

Mercurio has served as Wyoming’s principal for seven years. He hopes to use the knowledge he has gained at Wyoming at his new school. Mercurio has worked with a talented teaching staff and an attentive PTO during his tenure at Wyoming and has honed his capabilities to develop programs that unify his students. Throughout his experiences in the Millburn School District (Millburn Middle and Wyoming) Mercurio developed an understanding on how to manage a school building, including one which is under construction. This skill may prove to be vital, as the new Washington School is currently being renovated, preparing for its first class of students.

A pioneering principal, he has already developed a vision for his school. “To continue the excellence that we have in our district, that we provide in all of our elementary schools, and to be able to move that into one building and begin working with this one grade level, and to give the students an optimal experience,” Mercurio said. “I also hope that we can give the students in the Washington School the skills necessary to succeed in the Middle School.”

When the BOE originally began to contemplate the acquisition of the fifth grade academy, the transition between the elementary schools and the Middle School was a important factor in their decision. Although the Washington School is still considered to be elementary, Mercurio believes with certain programs and scheduling revisions, the school will serve as a critical segue to the sixth grade.

Some have addressed concerns with the new fifth grade academy, including but not limited to, a lack of age diversity among the students. However, Mercurio believes the Washington School will be conducive to a “great social experience”. He is confident in his teaching staff who are well versed in the fifth grade curriculum. Moreover, many parents feel that their children will have the opportunity to establish traditions of being the oldest among elementary school students.

Excited to start as the first principal of the Washington School, Mercurio is grateful to have been chosen for the position. “It’s really an honor to be chosen as the first principal of the Washington school. To have the opportunity to start and develop everything that the school is going to need from the ground up in terms of scheduling, programs, working with the PTO, bringing in different activities, and starting traditions – all of that is very exciting and motivating. It is really an honor to be part of that here in Millburn…. It is something to be really excited about.”

Brad Klein
Brad is a writer and commentator for Studio 462.