MAPLEWOOD, NJ -- The Board of Education for the South Orange and Maplewood School District approved the appointment of a new principal for Marshall Elementary School on Sept. 24 at the Board Administration Building

Bonita Samuels, who was previously the vice principal of South Mountain Elementary, will now be the principal of Marshall on the recommendation of Schools Superintendent Brian Osborne.

“She brings an expansive intellect, a deep knowledge of instruction, helpful background in special education and a warm, child-centered leadership style to her work,” he said.

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Osborne said he was both excited and delighted to bring the recommendation because of her performance as a vice principal.

“Among her many accomplishments are improved intervention and referral services at South Mountain school and across the district, a system of using assessment information in the primary grades to meet the needs of all students and supporting a slew of transition at South Mountain School in leadership several years back,” he said.

According to Osborne, Samuels is also well versed in the teacher evaluation framework and she has participated and contributed greatly to the district administrative team.

In addition, he said, Samuels is a mom and a community member who has a deep dedication to both the school district and the South Orange and Maplewood area.

In accepting her new position, Samuels thanked the board of education.

“I appreciate that you trust me to do this responsibly,” she said. “I love this community and I value our work in education.”

Osborne also said that he was glad to see Samuels receive so much support from her colleagues for the occasion.

According to him, the selection process was rigorous and competitive. The board of education advertised widely both within and outside the district, he said.

Samuels brought her husband, Reginald Samuels, and her son Desmond Samuels, who is a freshman at Columbia High School, to the event.

The reporter is participating in a hyperlocal journalism partnership between The Alternative Press and Seton Hall University's Department of Communication & The Arts.