HAVERHILL — A 33-year-old New Jersey curriculum and instruction director has agreed to become the Haverhill school district’s second-in-command.
The School Committee voted unanimously yesterday to hire Julie Kukenberger as Haverhill’s new assistant superintendent. She is replacing Mary Malone, who will leave at the end of the school year to become superintendent of the Ayer-Shirley School District.
Kukenberger is the director of curriculum and instruction for the North Hanover Township School District in Wrightstown, New Jersey. There are about 155 teachers and 1,275 students at four schools in that district, which is in Burlington County near Trenton.
Kukenberger has worked for the New Jersey district for 12 years, starting as an elementary school teacher and then principal at two schools in the district.
The School Committee met in private yesterday morning to negotiate Kukenberger’s pay, after agreeing in public session to offer her the job. The members voted to offer her a three-year contract that will pay $130,000 in the first year and then $132,500 in the next two years.
Malone, who makes $120,000 a year, has been Haverhill’s lone assistant superintendent since she was promoted to that position in 2011.
The district’s other senior school administrators are Leighton O’Connor, who oversees the school budget and financial issues, and Theresa Senio, the district’s special education director.
Superintendent James Scully said Kukenberger will begin her new job immediately on a part-time basis and begin working full-time in August.
Kukenberger said she, her husband and their 6-month-old daughter intend to relocate to the Haverhill area this summer. Her husband recently accepted a professor’s position at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, she said.
Scully said Kukenberger will focus primarily on student learning and improving the district’s MCAS scores.
“I envision a role in which she will be responsible for classroom practices, administrative leadership, and response to increased academic demands,” Scully said in a memo recommending Kukenberger for the job.