Board Appoints Three New Principals
As students return to school in September 2019, a visitor to Lawrence Intermediate School (LIS) may find the principal greeting students as they enter the building. Or in the office meeting with a parent. At the same time.
This is possible because, at a special meeting on May 15, 2019, the Lawrence Board of Education appointed two principals, Alyson Fischer and Thomas Toohey, to co-lead LIS. Each person will have equal, full responsibilities and final decision-making capabilities of a principal’s administrative position. With a special education background, Toohey will have a focus in that area. Fischer will be closely related to general education.
With almost 900 students and 121 staff members for grades 4-6, LIS is the second largest of seven schools within Lawrence Township Public Schools (LTPS). Currently and through the end of the 2018-2019 school year in June, one principal and
one assistant principal lead the school.
Toohey and Fischer will replace present LIS principal Cynthia Westhead as she retires, effective June 30, 2019.
LIS’s new administrative structure calls for Toohey to be a liaison for 4th grade, Fischer a liaison for 6th grade, and an assistant principal a liaison for 5th grade. Amy Amiet currently is the LIS assistant principal. She will have a new administrative role within LTPS beginning in the next school year. Thus, the district will post to fill the LIS assistant principal position.
“I have clearly heard from our school and the Lawrence community that more leadership is needed at LIS at such a critical time for our students,” shared Ross Kasun, Lawrence superintendent. “The new LIS administrative structure reflects our commitment to excellence. I understand that there may be concerns and challenges about adding a new administrative position to the budget. However, with a reconfiguration of our administrative structure, we are able to incorporate the changes with no budget increase.”
Prior to coming to LTPS in 2011, Fischer taught social studies at Jackson Memorial High School. She currently is an assistant principal at Lawrence High School (LHS) and has held the position of LTPS Director of Health, Physical Education, and Athletics. As LHS assistant principal, Fischer has led the school’s character education, wellness, and mental health initiatives. As Athletic Director, she started a Student Leadership Summit, taught bullying and hazing workshops, and led the design
committee for the district’s two new turf fields.
Fischer holds a BA from The College of New Jersey and an MA from Georgian Court University. She is pursuing a doctoral degree at Rider University. Fischer is married and has three children.
Toohey began his education career at Rumson-Fairhaven Regional High School as a special education and history teacher. His first administrative position began in 2012 in Highlands, Atlantic Highlands, and Henry Hudson as the Tri-District Supervisor of Special Education. Presently, Toohey is the Director of Special Services for the Hazlet Township Public School District where he coordinates instructional, paraprofessional, nursing, related service provider, and child study team services across eight buildings.
Toohey holds a BA with a double major in Politics and Economics from Salve Regina University and an MA in Urban Educational Leadership from New Jersey City University. He is pursuing a Doctorate of Educational Leadership at Monmouth University and plans to defend his dissertation in July. Toohey is married and has two sons.
Also at their May 15th special meeting, the BOE appointed a third principal for the coming school year. Amy Amiet will take the helm as principal of Eldridge Park School (EPS) as she replaces current EPS principal Kathy Robbins, who is retiring June 30.
Amiet’s education career spans 16 years. She has served in Lawrence since
2006, as the EPS music teacher for nine years and, more recently, the LIS assistant principal for four. Initiatives she has helped lead include character education, which led to LTPS being named a National District of Character, and a grassroots social-emotional learning program. Her current focus is on the restorative justice approach to disciplinary practices.
Amiet earned her BA in Music and her MA in Educational Leadership from The College of New Jersey. She is married and has two children.
Superintendent Kasun continued, “As the world continues to rapidly change and become more complex, our schools also must adapt, so we can best prepare our students for their future. I am excited about our future with these three outstanding candidates to lead Lawrence Intermediate and Eldridge Park Schools. I thank the Board of Education for their support of this creative plan to best serve our students, staff, and community.”
Photo L to R: Thomas Toohey and Alyson Fischer - new LIS principals
Photo L to R: Amy Amiet, new EPS principal, & Kathy Robbins, current EPS principal who is retiring