Get to know Glen Rock’s new superintendent

by Andrew Kastelman, Business Development and Marketing Manager

Leadership. Organization skills. In-depth educational background. These are some of the qualities that a high school superintendent must have. When Glen Rock needed a new superintendent, they knew they needed to hire the right one. 

  The Board of Education hired Dr. Brett Charleston on July 1, 2019, replacing the interim superintendent Bruce Watson. Charleston was a superintendent in other school districts, including most recently Pequannock. Charleston received an Ed.D. in Education Administration from St. Elizabeth College in New Jersey. He credits his further education for attaining the superintendent job in a highly ranked school.

“Getting that last degree afforded me the opportunity to be a leader of a district where I develop those relationships with students and staff,” Charleston said. 

Charleston grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, before moving to New Jersey at 17. He attended Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania for his undergraduate degree. He obtained two master’s degrees from Holy Family University, one in Special Education and the other in Education Administration.

Charleston is impressed by the Glen Rock district. He sees that people in Glen Rock have pride and a strong work ethic. In the community, Charleston has noticed a positive involvement from families.

“The family unit is tight,” Charleston said. “I want to be a part of a community that shares my values and, to me, families supporting each other is important.”

Charleston started an Instagram account, grpublicschoolnj, to make daily posts to highlight the achievements of the school district. Charleston believes that social media has professional value and that it is a great resource to showcase Glen Rock students and teachers. Allison DeMeulder, Director of Communications, helps Charleston with the postings.

When not working, Charleston is still busy. He wakes up at 5 a.m. many days to go to the gym, where he completes a high intensity training program that helps him de-stress. On weekends, he is handy and likes to do carpentry work. He also helps his wife raise family chickens. 

Charleston had many proud achievements when he was a teacher at West Windsor High School. One is when he took over the Constitutional law team. A yearly contest that began in 1987, East Brunswick High School had won every year. Then in 2000, in Charleston’s first year as the advisor, West Windsor won the state competition. They then went to D.C to represent New Jersey and finished fifth place in the country wide competition.

Charleston was the girls high school basketball coach at West Windsor as well. West Windsor was not known as a basketball powerhouse, but Charleston led the team to a sectional championship. Charleston was proud of the team because they worked exceptionally hard to reach their goal. 

Short-term Charleston’s goal for the district is to develop relationships with students and staff. Charleston achieves this by visiting the school district daily, and he primarily focuses on the elementary schools. Long-term Charleston wants the district to improve, but he knows it will be a challenge considering Glen Rock is already a top high school.

“How do you make a district that’s so good better?” Charleston asked.