Story updated on Tuesday, July 24, at 3 p.m.
Grover Cleveland Middle School has a new principal.
James "Jim" Brown—who has served as a vice principal at since 2006—was appointed principal of the by the Caldwell-West Caldwell Board of Education Monday night. His start date is August 20, 2012.
"He's a good, solid administrator," Board of Education President Maureen McNish said Tuesday about Brown. "He’s ready for his own building."
McNish added, "He just did a wonderful job in his interviews. His knowledge is sound and he has a phenomenal way with the students."
The board approved a pro-rated salary of $130,000 for the new principal. His one-year contract runs through June 30, 2013.
Brown will replace Principal Casey Shorter, who has .
Caldwell-West Caldwell Superintendent James Heinegg called the search for a new principal open and rigorous.
"We had 87 applicants. We treated all of those applications equally and fairly," Heinegg said. "Mr. Brown really had to demonstrate that he was the best candidate and he emerged as the clear choice."
Of the 87 applicants, eight were invited to a first round of interviews with a committee. From those candidates, four were invited back for a second round of interviews with a second committee. The top two candidates were presented to the board of education.
Heinegg was confident about his recommendation to the board to hire Brown.
"In addition to the fine work that he has done at the high school, he also through the interviews demonstrated that he has the educational vision and the deep connection to the community that will ensure his success," Heinegg said.
Prior to coming to Caldwell-West Caldwell Schools, Brown worked in the Dunellen School District as a middle school and high school teacher, as well as Dean of Students. He holds a bachelor’s in English literature from Rutgers University and a master’s in Educational Administration from Kean University.
Shorter, who announced his resignation in June, has been the middle school principal since 2004.
Heinegg said the open vice principal position at the high school has been advertised and a search is under way.