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home : features : back to school January 16, 2018

Tonero brings strong Catholic background to Belmar
John Tonero, who attended a Catholic grammar and high school when he was younger, is the new principal of St. Rose High School, Belmar.

John Tonero, who attended a Catholic grammar and high school when he was younger, is the new principal of St. Rose High School, Belmar.

Story by Rose O’Connor | Correspondent

John Tonero has been selected as the new principal of St. Rose High School, Belmar, and will officially join the school community at the end of August. 

The Monmouth County high school is moving toward a president-principal model, with Sister of St. Joseph Kathy Nace moving from principal to president of the school.

She recently introduced Tonero to the school community and welcomed him on behalf of St. Rose Parish pastor, Msgr. Edward Arnister.

“Father Ed and I are delighted to welcome Mr. Tonero as the next principal of St. Rose High School,” she said. “He is a man of deep faith and an experienced educator and administrator who brings with him great enthusiasm for his new life in Catholic education.”

Born in Newark and raised in Livingston, Tonero is a product of Catholic education, having attended St. Philomena’s Grammar School and Essex Catholic High School. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Seton Hall University, South Orange.

He later received a master of education degree in administration and supervision from New Jersey City University.

He holds state certifications in business education, mathematics and administration.

A majority of Tonero’s teaching career was spent in the Newark Public School System, serving in many administrative capacities including summer school principal at Barringer and East Side High Schools, the mathematics department chairperson and vice principal of West Side High School, and principal of Weequahic High School. He spent the last two and a half years in the Archdiocese of Newark at Queen of Peace High School, North Arlington.

In addition to his teaching career, Tonero has also spent many years as a track and field coach.

Tonero is currently the treasurer of the Essex County Track Coaches Association and the indoor and outdoor meet director for the Super Essex Conference and the Essex County Track and Field Championships. He also serves as the meet director for the NJSIAA Outdoor State Sectional Track and Field Championships at Ridge High School and is a member of the NJSIAA Outdoor Track Committee.

In 2004, he was named New Jersey Track Coach of the Year by the Star-Ledger newspaper.

Tonero and his wife, Deirdre, reside in Spring Lake Heights with their three sons. Kieran, a graduate of Mount St. Mary’s University, Emmitsburg, Md., is currently attending Montclair State University, Montclair, where he is pursuing a master’s degree in forensic accounting. Patrick is a junior at Ramapo College, and Aidan is entering fifth grade. 

Tonero and his family have been parishioners of St. Rose Parish for five years, and his wife serves as a reader.

Tonero said he is looking forward to his new role at St. Rose High School and getting to know his colleagues, faculty, staff, students and parents.

“This position affords me the opportunity to live my faith through my work,” he said. “I look forward to the opportunity to enhance the school’s already great reputation of providing the young men and women in the school with a quality Catholic education.”

He is also enthusiastic about additions to the academic program, including the implementation of the engineering and STEM-based curriculum, “Project Lead the Way.”

He also plans to address ways to increase the school’s enrollment.

“Parents have so many choices, so we need to show them why St. Rose is the best choice,” he said. “We need to be on the top of our game.”

Tonero looks forward to meeting the St. Rose High School students on the first day of school, Sept. 5, and at the “Welcome Back Reception” that’s planned for Sept. 6.

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