Westfield Board Appoints New Athletic Director & WHS Assistant Principal

At its regular public meeting on May 7, 2024, the Westfield Board of Education approved the appointment of James DeSarno as Director of Athletics / K-12 Physical Education and Health Supervisor, effective July 1, 2024.  DeSarno will succeed Sandra Mamary, who is retiring after 37 years in the Westfield Public School District, 14 of them as Athletic Director.

Also effective July 1, the Board approved the appointment of Edison Intermediate School assistant principal Jacqueline Spring to succeed WHS Assistant Principal Dr. Warren Hynes, who has accepted a position in a neighboring school district.

DeSarno joined the Westfield Public School District in 2006 as a physical education teacher and award-winning head football coach at the high school, serving 7 years as a PE educator before becoming WHS Assistant Principal in 2013. Prior to coming to Westfield, DeSarno held a variety of PE and coaching positions at schools in Kinnelon, Linden, and Newark.

Following a review of 66 applications and a thorough interview process with 6 candidates, “it is clear that Mr. DeSarno is the ideal candidate for this role due to his deep understanding of athletics, physical education, and health programming,” says Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Dr. Matthew Bolton.  “Mr. DeSarno’s experience as a high school assistant principal, combined with his successful coaching record and teaching background in physical education and health across multiple districts, make him uniquely qualified for this position.”

In addition to being named Athletic Director, DeSarno will hold dual responsibilities as supervisor of  the K-12 physical education and health, a role he takes very seriously.

“The importance of introducing games, skills, and activities to our students, helping them understand the components of good health, constantly addressing their physical, mental, emotional and social needs, and equipping them with the knowledge and skills for a healthy and fulfilling life is vital,” he says.

DeSarno holds a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from Montclair State University and a Master’s in Educational Administration from Kean University.  He says he is “excited by this new challenge and looks forward to working with our teachers, coaches, administrators, and the community as well.”

For the past year, Jacqueline Spring has served as Assistant Principal of Edison Intermediate School.  Spring joined the district 17 years ago as a social studies teacher at Westfield High School.  She served as district coordinator of the Project ‘79 program, a college-preparatory alternative that combines strong academics with a humanistic approach to support students who are not achieving the success they would like at Westfield High School. Spring also taught for 14 years in the Project ‘79 program.

Spring says she is grateful for the support she received from Edison principal LaNova Schall and the entire Edison community, as she prepares to assume the new role at the high school.

“I look forward to building positive rapport with students, families, and staff so we can work together to support the mission of Westfield High School,” says Spring.  “I look forward to supporting the implementation of the Strategic Plan so that our students are well prepared, both academically and social-emotionally, to navigate their post-high school plans.”

Spring holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a Master’s in Educational Administration from Kean University.  Approximately 151 applications were reviewed and 7 candidates selected for interviews for the WHS assistant principal position.

“I am thrilled to welcome Jim as our new Director of Athletics and Supervisor of K-12 Physical Education and Health and to welcome Jackie back to the high school as Assistant Principal,” says Superintendent Dr. Raymond González.  “Both administrators bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their new positions and I have no doubt that they will continue to be tremendous assets to our administrative team.”

González says the district looks forward to conducting a thorough and productive search to fill the open assistant principal positions at Edison and Westfield High School.

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