Mount Olive Middle School has a new principal. James Kramer, a longtime Mount Olive School District educator, was appointed to the post by the board of education effective October 1. He replaces Matt Robinson who has become the director of elementary education.
Kramer has been with the district for 22 years. He taught social studies for two years at the middle school before transferring to the high school where he’s spent the last two decades. Since 2005 he has served as MOHS vice principal.
“I’m excited to bring my own educational vision to Mount Olive Middle School,” said Kramer. “I want to continue building a culture where kids and staff members love coming into the building. Every day we need to send the message to students that we as adults care about them and want them to excel.”
From 2000-2008, Kramer was the MOHS head football coach and led the team to its only state title in 2002 – a year in which he was honored as the Daily Record Coach of the Year and the Star Ledger State of New Jersey Coach of the Year. Prior to joining the district, he taught at Morris Knolls High School in Rockaway and at Ridge High School in Basking Ridge.
“Jim is a proven educational leader who is down to earth and loves interacting with students and staff,” said Dr. Robert Zywicki, superintendent of schools. “His knowledge of the Mount Olive High School curriculum will be a huge benefit in preparing middle school students to take advantage of the academic opportunities at the high school.”
A Flanders resident, Kramer is both a MOHS graduate and a parent of two MOHS students. Concerned that his presence and high-profile position at MOHS might impact his children, he’s had some very frank discussions with them.
“Before my elder son entered his freshman year, I said that if it was going to be awkward for him with me as vice principal, I would go and find another job,” Kramer said. “That’s how important the high school experience is, I wouldn’t want to be a distraction. Every year I’ve asked them that same question. Luckily, they told me every time that I could stick around.”
Kramer holds two master’s degrees: one in educational leadership from New Jersey City University and one in teaching from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He received his Bachelor of Arts in economics/business finance from East Stroudsburg University.