History

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Hunterdon Central is dedicated to this mission: to create teaching and learning environments that engage all students, foster achievement and cultivate the skills needed to compete, connect and collaborate as ethical and responsible participants in a global society.

The Hunterdon Central Regional High School District was created by voters from the five municipalities of Delaware Township, East Amwell Township, Flemington Borough, Raritan Township and Readington Township in April 1954.

The primary goal of creating the new regional high school district was to provide a high quality education for students in a 150 square mile area of Hunterdon County, who were previously served by smaller and older high schools lacking the facilities to handle rapidly-growing student populations and the programs needed to offer the broad-based curricula.

In 1954, the Board of Education chose Robert Shoff as the District’s first superintendent, paying him $8,500.  His first year on the job was a planning year, as he organized and managed the transition from Flemington High School to Hunterdon Central in 1955-56.  The Board also hired an architectural firm to design the new high school, and developed plans for a bond referendum to fund the purchase of a site for the proposed school.  The bond issue was passed by the voters in December 1954 and included the purchase of the Route 69 elementary school from the Flemington-Raritan school district.  The bond also included the necessary funds to expand that facility to comfortably accommodate 1,000 students, with a maximum capacity of 1,200 students.

 
Hunterdon Central High School opened its doors to approximately 750 students in September 1956. Students who had previously attended Flemington High School moved to the new high school, along with many of the faculty and programs.

During the first few years of its existence, Hunterdon Central adapted its curriculum and student activities programs to the changing needs of a growing community, and plans for a building expansion were put into place, due to a growing enrollment.  The first expansion occurred in the early 1960s, when 19 additional classrooms, a small auxiliary gym, a new cafeteria, storage rooms and a science lab were added.  A much larger expansion was undertaken in the late 1960s, made necessary by demographic growth that brought over 2,000 students to the campus by the end of the decade; the Board of Education was also committed to developing a 2+2, "house system" campus design.  The Zuegner Memorial Library, John Krauss Fine Arts Building, Fieldhouse, central facilities building housing many classrooms, small theatre, offices and a cafeteria were constructed and opened to students in the 1969-70 school year.  As campus facilities expanded, so too did the curriculum and student activities programs, with many new courses, clubs and athletic teams developed to serve a growing student body.

In the early 1970s, Hunterdon Central experienced a change in leadership, with the retirement of Robert Shoff and the appointment of Claude Schmitt, former English department supervisor and senior administrator, as superintendent.  Enrollments continued to grow during the decade, with over 2,400 students enrolled by the late 1970s.  Hunterdon Central changed its administrative structure in the late 1970s, in response to a Middle States Accreditation report recommendation, and appointed Robert Kanaby as the school’s first principal.  Many new programs were added during this decade, including campus-based FM radio station WCVH, a cooperative industrial education program, family life education and an “activity period”, an effort to provide opportunities for students to pursue clubs and activities of interest during the school day.

In 1980, Hunterdon Central appointed long-time faculty member and senior administrator, Fred Wolsiefer to replace the retiring Claude Schmitt, and he served for 7 years in this position, retiring in 1987.  He was replaced by Peter Merluzzi.  During the 1980s, Dr. David Myers served as principal, and the school revised its administrative structure to incorporate grade level administrators for each of the house offices (grades 9, 10, 11 and 12).  New programs instituted during the decade included those for gifted and talented students, additional Advanced Placement courses, a peer leadership program and courses added to meet the increased graduation requirements established by the NJ State Board of Education.  Instructional technology also became much more prominent at the school during the 1980s, with the gradual integration of personal computers into classroom instruction.

In 1990, Hunterdon Central hired Raymond P. Farley as superintendent; he served the District in this role for the next ten years.  During this decade, the District revamped its daily schedule to a 4 X 4 block system, placed technology at the center of classroom instruction and provided enhanced opportunities for faculty to improve their skills through the creation of an in-house training academy.   The Board of Education developed a major bond referendum that expanded the campus in the mid-1990s, again addressing the needs of rapidly increasing enrollments.  By the end of the decade, Hunterdon Central had been recognized as a national Blue Ribbon School of Excellence and as New Jersey’s first Star School.  English Supervisor Linda Batz became principal in 1995, following the retirement of Dr. David Myers, and she remained in this position until the 2000-2001 school year.

Hunterdon Central entered the new millennium with growing enrollments, a rapidly changing workforce, and new district leadership.  Dr. LeRoy Seitz was hired as the district’s sixth superintendent in the fall of 2000.  Under his leadership, the District was awarded a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence status for the second time, in 2002.  The high school’s curriculum was expanded to provide more advanced and rigorous academic courses, and a new building plan was developed to meet the challenge of ever increasing enrollments.  In early 2005, construction began on a new campus expansion, which was completed in 2007.  Former vice-principal Lisa Brady was selected as the new principal in 2000, and she remained in that role until 2004.  Peter Karycki joined the administration as principal in 2004, remaining in that position until his retirement in June 2007.

In 2007, Dr. Lisa Brady, was named the seventh superintendent of Hunterdon Central; Christina Steffner was named principal.  During her four year tenure as superintendent, Dr. Brady embraced the challenge of 21st century education, positioning Hunterdon Central in the vanguard of educational technology in the State of New Jersey and developing a dynamic model for 21st century classrooms. 

Upon Dr. Brady's retirement in July 2011, Christina Steffner assumed the role of Acting Superintendent, until February 2012, when she was named the District's eighth superintendent. Tim O'Brien served as Interim Principal for the 2011-2012 school year; in July, 2012 Suzanne Cooley was named Principal of Hunterdon Central.

Mrs. Steffner remained Superintendent until her resignation June 2016.  On July 1, 2016, Johanna S. Ruberto, Ed. D. became Interim Superintendent of Hunterdon Central.

Over the last six decades, Hunterdon Central has grown into one of the largest, campus-style high school districts in New Jersey, with a 72 acre campus, four general classroom buildings, a music/communications building, a 2,000 seat Fieldhouse, an Instructional Media Center, and an FM radio station and cable television station, from which satellite downlinks are available.

Hunterdon Central is dedicated to achieving the District vision: to create teaching and learning environments that engage all students, foster achievement and cultivate the skills needed to compete, connect and collaborate as ethical and responsible participants in a global society.