Erin Mulligan-Pierre said she's been impressed with how Red Bank educates its diverse student population.
Throughout the last school year, she and other administrators from the Keyport School District visited the borough several times in an effort to learn from the great strides Red Bank had made in educating its kids, especially in regards to its bilingual and English as a second language, or ESL, students.
Now it's up to her to keep the momentum going.
Mulligan-Pierre was recently introduced as Red Bank Primary School's principal after more than a decade spent as a teacher, grant supervisor, and most recently, director of curriculum in Keyport. She replaces Rick Cohen, who had served as the school's principal since 2006.
With the groundwork laid by an excellent staff, Mulligan-Pierre said the transition has gone smoothly and now she's ready for the new school year and working towards goals to improve the district.
"(I) just want to focus on improving student achievement; working on professional development," she said following a recent council meeting. "I feel honored to be working in such a great school district."
Mulligan-Pierre officially assumed the position on July 1 after her hiring was approved just a few weeks before by the Red Bank Board of Education. District Superintendent Laura Morana said Mulligan-Pierre brings with her not only a great deal of passion for the position, but the experience to be able to put it to good use.
So far during her tenure Mulligan-Pierre said she and the district have been working on developing a master schedule and a transition team to help not only ease the staff into the new school year, but address challenges related to staffing and accommodating an ever-growing student population.This year alone, she said, the Primary School is adding additional kindergarten, first grade, and third grade classrooms to account for the student population growth. Though adjustments need to be made, it hasn't been a struggle so far.
Mulligan-Pierre credits the borough's teachers for that.
"The teachers are amazing," she said. "They're all really amazing educators."