BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, NJ -- William Annin Middle School Principal Karen Hudock will be paid nearly a $10,000 stipend to become the acting principal at Ridge High School for the rest of the school year.

Her appointment was approved Monday night (Jan. 6) by the Bernards Township Board of Education even as a few parents expressed unease with her selection to fill temporarily the job created by the resignation of Drew Krause. He is scheduled to leave the district Jan. 24.

Parents expressed worries about simultaneously disrupting the leadership continuum at the two largest schools in the district.

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Superintendent Nick Markarian said he could “appreciate that not everyone has the same opinion” but that he was confident in his recommendation.

The superintendent said the choice of Hudock as an interim principal in no way prejudged the selection of a permanent principal, who would start in the fall. The district is advertising for a candidate who has at least five years of building-level experience.

He said the district would immediately post the opening for an acting principal at WAMS.

Hudock has been principal of the grade 6-8 middle school of about 1,400 students for at least eight years. Ridge has about 1,800 students.

Krause resigned as Ridge’s principal to take a job in private industry, he said. He has been at the helm at Ridge since the fall of 2017 and has won applause from the public as a leader who has raised student and staff morale at the school.

Hudock’s stipend of $9,500 will come on top of her annual salary of $172,975 this year. Krause’s salary is $170,163.

Before becoming to Ridge, Krause was the principal at Vernon High School in Sussex County.

Markarian said he didn’t know if Hudock, who is tenured in her post at WAMS, would apply for the permanent job at Ridge. The deadline to apply is Jan. 17 and “there has been a pretty good number of applicants so far,” the superintendent said. Interviews would probably start at the end of the month, he added, and that he hoped they would find the successful candidate by the spring.

He said the interview group would be comprised of one or two members of both the administrators’ and teachers’ associations, one or two parents, members of the school board’s personnel committee, and himself and the two assistant superintendents.

He said he doubted there would be a meeting for the public to meet and question finalists for the job.