Kenilworth district announces new assistant principals for its two schools

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KENILWORTH, NJ — School’s out, but two new assistant principals are in at Kenilworth Public Schools.

Veteran Kenilworth child psychologist Carol Carrara has been hired for the position at Harding Elementary School. Madelyn Witchel, the new assistant principal at David Brearley Middle–High School, is a newcomer to the district who most recently worked as a middle school science coordinator and eighth-grade science teacher at Bridgewater–Raritan Middle School.

But the two new administrators share some skill sets, including a background in using data-driven instruction. They each had a key role on their respective school’s pandemic response team. Kenilworth leaders expect both educators to make significant contributions to advance district goals, particularly in future-ready learning and enhanced intervention programs.

“We’re familiar with Carol, but that’s not why we recommended her for the assistant principal position. She works tirelessly to enhance programs, advise teachers and make sure students have all the resources they need for their education and well-being,” said Harding Principal Ron Bubnowski.

Brearley Principal Jeremy Davies said Witchel was chosen from a competitive pool of 172 applicants.

“We’re so excited about Madelyn joining the Brearley team. She brings enthusiasm to educating students and champions inclusivity and achievement,” said Davies. “As Brearley opens its Technology Lab this fall and expands its STEM curriculum, Madelyn’s science background will be an incredible asset.”

Carrara, a school psychologist with the district since 2002, had a key role in the development of the social and emotional framework at Harding. She also facilitated the school’s pandemic response team. Harding will call on her mental-health expertise as the district navigates the return to full-day, in-person instruction in September.

Carrara collaborated with teachers to enhance early childhood programs and spearheaded the new kindergarten screening process. She took an interactive approach by working alongside teachers in the classroom to offer student-assistance strategies. Carrara formed the Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee to help ensure all parents have access to school resources.

Carrara applies data-driven methods to improve instruction and student outcomes, and will train staff members in these techniques.

Witchel has spent most of her career in the Bridgewater–Raritan Regional School District, where she led the middle school science department. She also was an eighth-grade Earth and space science teacher at the middle school since 2014 and worked in classrooms for nine years. Her varied leadership experience includes providing professional development, interviewing teaching candidates, and serving on school improvement and science program evaluation committees.

As a member of her school’s pandemic response team, Witchel trained staff in use of digital tools, created virtual school events, and designed protocols to support social distancing and contact training.

Witchel has routinely used student data to shape instruction. Her analysis helped her measure growth, suggest curriculum changes and target improvement in student understanding and skills. Her responsibilities with the science department included organizing extracurricular opportunities, such as the Science Bowl Team and Junior Solar Sprint.

The Kenilworth Board of Education approved the appointments of Witchel and Carrara at its meeting on Wednesday, June 23.

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