TABERNACLE >> The Tabernacle Township Board of Education has appointed Thomas P. Christensen as the Interim Superintendent of Schools effective Monday, Feb. 3.
Christensen, 67, replaces Glenn Robbins, who served the district since 2016 and has accepted the same position for Brigantine Public Schools. The board of education approved the appointment at its regular meeting on Jan. 21.
“I am looking forward to assisting the district as we move forward facing decreasing state aid, and working with the staff, students and parents to provide an excellent education for the children of Tabernacle,” said Christensen this week.
Christensen served as the superintendent of schools for Shamong Township Public Schools from 2003 to 2011 prior to superintendent responsibilities in Vermont and Upper Darby, Pa.
When asked what made the position of interim superintendent in Tabernacle so attractive, Christensen said: “Tabernacle has a reputation for well-rounded academic programs such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) at the Olson Middle School and the Collaboratory at Tabernacle Elementary School.”
Christensen retired in June 2018 and has worked for several New Jersey districts on an interim basis, including being interim principal at the Fountain Woods Schools in Burlington Township (April to June 2019), Marlton Elementary School (October to November 2019) and most recently, the Jaggard Elementary School (January 2020).
As superintendent, Christensen will oversee a combined 674 students at the Tabernacle Elementary School and Kenneth R. Olson Middle School.
Are there any challenges that come with being an interim superintendent?
“The greatest challenge that faces any interim superintendent is 'time',” said Christensen. “An interim is hired for a specific period of time and may not see new initiatives and programs through to implementation.”
“The Tabernacle Board of Education looks forward to working with Mr. Christensen as we search for a permanent Superintendent of Schools,” said board president Megan Chamberlain. “His local experience (Shamong), as well as his extensive experience in school administration makes him a good fit for our district and community.”
Christensen received his bachelor of education degree from West Chester University and earned his master’s degree in school administration and student personnel services from Glassboro State College (Rowan University).
“It is my goal to bring forward a balanced budget that maintains staff and programs, and to work collaboratively with other districts in the Lenape region,” said Christensen.
Christensen’s professional career includes: Upper Darby School District, Pa., August 2012 to June 2018, elementary principal; Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union, Windsor, Vt., July 2011 to August 2012, superintendent of four school districts; Shamong Township Public Schools, 2003 to 2011, superintendent of schools; Cherry Hill Public Schools – Central Administration (assistant superintendent - HR and elementary education 1999 to 2003; assistant superintendent – special services and HR, 1999 to 2000); Woodcrest School, 1991 to 1999, principal; Palmyra Township School District, 1987 to 1991, principal; West Deptford Township School District, 1984 to 1987, assistant principal and Gloucester Township School District, 1974 to 1984, sixth grade teacher.
Christensen resides in Berlin with his wife, Rita.