Giving high-fives, meeting new people, collecting attendance, and walking through the halls, Bergenfield’s new principal, Dr. Michael Kuchar, is making himself known to all students.
But Kuchar is no stranger. Kuchar made the move to principal after six years as director of guidance department. “Being guidance director was great training because I had a chance to learn the school curriculum, get to know the teachers, and receive training as an instructional leader, “he said.
According to Kuchar, this year is a tremendous opportunity to accomplish several long and short-term goals. The new safety measures such as ID badges, the electronic door lock system, and the hallway monitors have become top priority in terms of this year’s objectives. Said Kuchar; “I want to take care of safety and discipline issues first. Then, in the long term, I want Bergenfield to be recognized as a “Blue Ribbon” or nationally distinguished school. It is important that our community appreciates the great academics and extra curricular programs that we offer.” Kuchar said there are plans for a committee of teachers and students to review the dress code for inconsistencies.
Prior to working in Bergenfield, Kuchar was a Catholic educator for the Archdiocese of New York for ten years. Then, for one year, he did social work at Wyckoff Elementary School, and for another year, he was a guidance counselor at Northern Valley Regional High School.
Kuchar graduated from River Dell High School. After earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies at Seton Hall University, he went to Teacher’s College at Columbia University and earned his master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. In addition, he recently earned his Ph.D. from Fordham University in Curriculum Teaching. His doctoral dissertation addresses the problem of recruiting minority teachers to the profession. Kuchar is also certified as an alcohol and drug counselor.
When he is not in school, Kuchar spends as much time as possible with his wife and three children. Said Kuchar; “I bring my kids to the football games on the weekends. I see how attending these activities affects them because my son wants to be a football player and my daughter wants to be a cheerleader, and my smallest one wants to be the Bergenfield Bear.”
Said Kuchar, “I see this year as a tremendous opportunity. It is a challenge because there is a lot of responsibility, but the results are immensely gratifying.”
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