After 25 years as vice principal of Cedar Grove High School, Joseph McBride is passing the torch on to Steve Gallagher, a social studies teacher.
The change was approved by the Board of Education on June 23 and will go into effect Sept. 1.
Gallagher has taught at Cedar Grove High School for seven years. While he loves being a teacher, he thinks he is more than ready for the next step. “I’m familiar with the administrative team and think I can work really well with them,” Gallagher said. “I also like the direction [Principal Richard] Mangili is going.”
Before teaching, Gallagher was a member of the Caldwell police force for more than 26 years. During his tenure, Gallagher connected to teaching through nine years of administering D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) programs to local youth and working as a juvenile police officer. Retiring from the police captain position, Gallagher returned to school at Caldwell College to obtain a teaching degree and give back to his alma mater.
“I hated school growing up,” said Gallagher, who attended Memorial High School from 1974 to 1978. But he admits that by “interacting with the kids, and being a role model,” a person can have a big impact on a child’s life.
Throughout his teaching career, Gallagher has been well received by his students and peers. The student council awarded him the Panther Pride award during the 2010-2011 school year. He’s also won the Teacher of the Year award for the 2012-2013 academic year.
Gallagher’s involvement, however, has not only been in his classroom, but through a wide array of programs. He has served as an advisor for the Irish and pep clubs, as well as assisting in the athletic and theater departments, Gallagher told the Times. He admits, however, that there is much to be missed when leaving a teaching position for an administrative one.
“I’ll miss getting to know the students one-on-one – and the depth [involved] with the relationship you can develop in a classroom,” Gallagher said.
As vice principal, Gallagher will administer to more than 100 students at a time.
“We are looking forward to [Gallagher] joining our administrative team,” Mangili said. “He has a nice rapport with the parents and students from his social studies class. And his background as an officer [will aid] in the upgrade of safety for the school and district.”
Gallagher will earn $89,610 a year in his new position as opposed to his teaching salary of $54,000.
McBride will act as a maternity leave replacement for the district’s K-12 Area Supervisor of Math/Science.
The position pays $665.35 per day and will be effective Sept. 1 through Nov. 30.