NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The new year will bring a change in leadership to New Brunswick High School.

Longtime principal Jorge Diaz worked his final day in the city last week. After 10 years of service to the district, Diaz is heading to South Amboy Public Schools on Jan. 1, where he will take over as superintendent.

“We’d like to recognize that the work that he did at Roosevelt and here at the high school was extraordinary and commendable,” John Anzul, New Brunswick’s assistant superintendent, said during last week’s Board of Education meeting. “We wish him very good luck in the future.”

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Diaz has spent the past few months working alongside his replacement, Ken Redler, grooming him to hit the ground running come January.

The board approved Redler’s appointment this fall at a salary of roughly $124,000, according to district documents.

Redler had worked as a vice principal at New Brunswick Middle School since the 2013-14 school year, according to district documents.

“I think one of the most significant things is that he is a product of New Brunswick Public Schools,” Anzul told TAPinto New Brunswick. “He did a fabulous job as vice principal and was instrumental in a number of programs.”

Among Redler’s accomplishments in the middle school was his improvement of the “culture and climate,” Anzul said. He said Redler helped children cut down on bullying, take ownership of the school and their actions and feel proud to be in that community.

Prior to working in the middle school, Redler was an art teacher at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School.

While there, he won three Innovative Teacher Grants for Excellence from the New Brunswick Education Foundation, which earmarked $1,800 for more than 350 students to take “electronic” field trips to museums based in Newark and Philadelphia. The trips essentially used technology to bring educational programs designed by the museums into New Brunswick classrooms.

Redler earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts education and studio art in 1977 from Kean College, according to the New Brunswick Education Foundation. He then spent 20 years working for a floral business that he owned and operated.

According to a disclosure form filed this year with the state Department of Education, Redler has a financial interest in Fine Paints Corporation, an East Brunswick business that appears to sell Benjamin Moore paint products.

A similar form from 2013 shows that he has worked for Monroe Township’s municipal summer camp and the American College of Education, a Texas-based, for-profit, online school offering post-graduate certificates, master’s degrees and doctorates.

“The fit with the high school came at exactly the right time,” Anzul said of Redler’s new role. “It’s been fortunate that he’s had an opportunity for a transition period with Mr. Diaz, so the two of them have had a chance to collaborate.”

Several attempts to reach Redler and Diaz for interviews were unsuccessful.