Oceanport – Matt Howell got a firsthand look at how the Oceanport Board of Education operates as the public meeting on Thursday night, July 19, which started at 7pm, concluded at 11:30pm. It was a cantankerous meeting, but one thing was unanimous, and that was the hiring of Howell as the new principal of the Maple Place Middle School, home of the Chargers.
Andrew Orefice, superintendent of schools, informed those in attendance that when the position of principal was announced/advertised over 100 applications were received. “Frankly, I was disappointed at the overall talent pool,” said Orefice. However, a committee was able to narrow down the field to ten excellent candidates, according to Orefice.
Interviews were conducted over two days and when the committee met to review and discuss those applying for the principal position one name was on everyone’s lips. “That just never happens, we all agreed that Matt was right man for the job,” said Orefice.
Howell accepted the $103,000 position and said that he promises to give 110 percent every day to the students, parents and community members of Oceanport. The contact takes effect on September 17, as Howell is currently employed by the Hazlet School District as a principal. Orefice stated that Howell has a 60-day clause in his contract with Hazlet, and if he is not immediately released by Hazlet, the Superintendent himself will act as principal until Howell take officially take over. “I hope to have a conversation with the superintendent in Hazlet and ask that they release Matt as soon as possible,” said Orefice.
Photo: Andrew Orefice, Superintendent of Schools, Matt Howell new Principal of Maple Place, and Colin Soyer, President of the Board of Education.