High school VP leaving

Matthew Strianse taking principal position in Totowa

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  • Matthew Strianse, seen here with his wife, Donna, and children Matthew and Jack, is leaving the West Milford School District for a principalship in Totowa.

“I want to tell the Highlanders to always give a 100 percent and never be afraid to follow your dreams. Thank you for a wonderful 14 years in the West Milford Township Public Schools.
Matthew Strianse, a former West Milford High School assistant principal who is moving on to be a principal in Totowa


Matthew Strianse is moving on.

The West Milford Board of Education accepted Strianse's resignation from his position as assistant principal of West Milford High School, effective June 30, 2014, at its May 27 meeting. Strianse has accepted a job as principal of Washington Park School in Totowa.

UGL roots and some high praise
Strianse began his 14-year career in the West Milford school district as a physical education and health teacher at Upper Greenwood Lake Elementary School. He was later hired for the position of assistant principal of West Milford High School, where he has worked for the past seven years.

“Mr. Strianse has positively shaped the lives of countless Highlanders,” said West Milford High School Principal Paul Gorski. In an email to the Messenger Gorski stated, “You would be hard pressed to find a student, parent or staff member that would say an ill word about him. His compass always points true north; he has a singular focus on the best interests of our students. An excellent leader and an even better man, Mr. Strianse will be sorely missed at West Milford High School. I join our Highlander community in wishing my colleague and friend the very best of luck in his new principalship.”

"Very rewarding experience"
Strianse said his time as assistant principal has been a very rewarding experience.

“I have enjoyed working with many students, staff, and parents during this time," Strianse said. "It is always exciting welcoming a new freshman class each September. As assistant principal, I get to work closely with the students during their time at the high school. It is gratifying to help guide them through their four years and bittersweet to see the seniors receive their diploma at graduation.”

As for filling the position, West Milford Superintendent of Schools Dr. James McLaughlin said the wheels are in motion.

“The assistant principal position has been posted and applications have been received," said McLaughlin. "Applicants are currently being reviewed and interviews will start shortly. Ideally a replacement would begin work at the start of school in September but notice provisions to current employers may delay that slightly.”

Big shoes to fill

Strianse has left behind some big shoes to fill and embodied an even bigger heart when it comes to caring for the well-being of his students. That is the feeling of many parents and students who have dealt with him through the years, pointing to his friendly and reliable presence, calm demeanor, constant support and contagious smile that will be missed.

Words of wisdom

Strianse leaves the district with these words of wisdom for his students: “I want to tell the Highlanders to always give a 100 percent and never be afraid to follow your dreams. Thank you for a wonderful 14 years in the West Milford Township Public Schools. I leave here with such fond memories. I have been very fortunate to have worked with so many outstanding students and staff members.”

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