BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, NJ - Bernards Township Superintendent of Schools Nick Markarian has been selected as the county “Superintendent of the Year” by the Somerset County Association of School Administrators.

Bernards Board of Education President Robin McKeon made the announcement at the May 21 meeting.

Markarian is now in the running to be named as the New Jersey Central Regional Superintendent of the Year and, ultimately, the New Jersey Superintendent of the Year.

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“You have distinguished yourself in the field of education,” wrote Nancy Gartenberg, president of the county association and superintendent of Montgomery Township schools. “You work collaboratively to build partnerships within your district and community.

“You are a consummate professional who is respected by your colleagues,” Gartenberg said.

Markarian was formerly the principal of William Annin Middle School and the school business administrator. He was hired as superintendent in 2012, replacing retiring superintendent Valerie Goger.

He started his career in Bernards as assistant principal in 2001, after experience in the classroom as a math teacher at Hunterdon Central and Spotswood high schools.

In October 2017 Markarian agreed to a revised contract to remain as superintendent in Bernards Township through June 2020. His duties change little, but the Board of Education took advantage of a state law to be able to raise his base salary, which has been unchanged for five years.

In 2012, state guidelines governing school districts the size of Bernards Township maxed Markarian’s annual salary at $167,500. The contract approved in October raised his salary to the new state-allowed base of $196,584, with 2 percent annual increases.

As he has in recent years, Markarian agreed to waive his right to seek annual merit pay bonuses of up to 14.99 percent of his base salary. The process to grant merit pay increases involves the setting of goals and then assessing to what extent they have been met.

In the past year Markarian has dealt with issues of how to address issues of student emotional and mental health, which has touched matters like counseling services, academic expectations, scheduling the school day. Among other topics on board agendas have been how much and how fast technology can be brought to the education process, addressing facility upgrades, and weather-related calendar issues.