Terry Trigg-Scales, a former Montclair schools administrator, will be the interim principal of the high school.

Parents received an email from Superintendent Kendra Johnson announcing Trigg-Scales hire on Aug. 1. She will fill in while the district interviews candidates to replace former principal James Earle.

Trigg-Scales is currently the president of the Essex County Retired Educators Association, according to her LinkedIn profile. She has 38 years experience in the Montclair public schools, serving as assistant superintendent, assistant to the superintendent, principal and teacher. Trigg-Scales had served on the search committee that originally hired Earle, according to Johnson.

Earle stepped down at the end of the 2017-2018 school year to take a new job as an assistant superintendent with the West Windsor-Plainsboro School District. He had served as MHS’s principal for nine years. As of March 31, Earle had an annual salary of $172,416 in his role as principal, according to the state’s pension database.

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Montclair has received over 50 applications in response to the open principal job posting.
The district also received 480 responses to a survey that it had sent out to families, staff and community members asking for input on the search.

Because of the large response and pool of candidates, the deadline of Aug. 1 for semifinalists to be announced has been extended. There will be a set of interviews on Aug. 13.

The next steps will be to have the search committee visit external candidates at the schools where they work, and interviews with candidates by the BOE. As of Aug. 8, district officials said that they had decided to continue exploring the candidate pool before meeting with outside candidates.

The BOE is expected to give an official update on the search on Aug. 20.