MONTCLAIR, NJ - When Terry Trigg-Scales took the helm at Montclair High School in August, the public was informed that it would be until a replacement has been found.

Now, nearly four months later, she is stepping down and a permanent replacement has yet to be identified. Days shy of the replacement decision, Trigg-Scales is leaving. District officials have not given explanation as to why.

Without warning, Superintendent Johnathan Ponds announced to parents that Trigg-Scales had stepped down as interim principal of Montclair High School as of October 30 and that Assistant Principal Eileen Gilbert will serve as interim principal until a replacement is found. 

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Terry Trigg-Scales, who has served the school district for nearly 40 years, was named as the new interim principal, at a salary of $800 a day, according to a Board report. She returned from retirement in an interim capacity after former principal Anthony Grosso resigned to become the new superintendent of schools in Cedar Grove. During her tenure in Montclair, she has served as assistant superintendent, assistant to the superintendent, principal and teacher. In 2018, she had also served as interim principal, following the departure of former MHS principal, James Earle. Trigg-Scales currently serves on the Board of Education in neighboring West Orange.

Ponds stated that he hopes to have a permanent principal selected sometime next week. A public forum with potential candidates for principal will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 2. Here's a link to the forum

“The families, students and staff of Montclair High as well as our entire district truly appreciate her service, especially during these challenging times. We wish her the best,” Ponds wrote in a letter to parents.

Each of the candidates will give a 15-minute presentation based on data from the New Jersey Department of Education’s 2018-2019 report card for Montclair High School. Each candidate will also answer questions from the audience for 30 minutes. 

Ponds said the district anticipates making a final decision by Tuesday, Nov. 3.