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South Mountain Has New Assistant Principal

Principal Tina Lehn and district announce replacement for Bonita Samuels.


South Mountain School Principal Tina Lehn announced yesterday that Marianne Hess will be the school's new Assistant Principal, effective Oct. 8.

Hess has been Assistant Principal at Tuscan School for the last three years, according to a letter Lehn issued to the school community. Hess attended elementary, middle and high school in the South Orange - Maplewood School District and returned as a teacher before taking her current position at Tuscan.

Hess replaces Bonita Samuels, who was recently named principal at Marshall School.

"Mrs. Hess will bring her many talents to our school," said Lehn in her letter. "She cares deeply about children, and will be a strong and hard working partner as we move forward to support our South Mountain teachers and children.  I am very happy that she will be a member of our South Mountain family."

Hess has a master’s degree in education from Seton Hall University and a master’s degree in education administration from Caldwell College, according to a press release issued by the district.  She chairs Tuscan’s intervention committee, serves as the school’s 504 coordinator and has helped to create programs to support students who are struggling academically, and to provide additional challenges to accelerated learners. Hess has been a proponent of making the elementary curriculum more welcoming to adopted children, and has provided both professional development and resources on adoption sensitivity to teachers across the district.

“I know Tuscan, love Tuscan, and believe in Tuscan,” said Hess in the release. “My mother was PTA president when I was a student at Tuscan, and I have grown so much and learned so much here.  Looking at my future, now that my children are grown, I am ready for a new challenge and a new learning opportunity, and to expand my practice as an instructional leader.  I look forward to the opportunity to work both independently and collaboratively in administering one school in two buildings.”

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