School Leadership

Administrators

 Mr. Peter Varela  
Principal
Peter Varela
732.329.4044 x5202




Mr. Peter Varela earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Economics from the State University of New York, College at Oneonta. In addition, he holds a Master of Science degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Mercy College, New York and a second Master's degree in Secondary Education from the City University of New York, Brooklyn College. Mr. Varela has been an administrator in South Brunswick since February 2003 and has served as Principal, Assistant Principal for Academic Leadership, Grade-level Assistant Principal, and Supervisor. He expects students to reach their full potential through academic rigor and exposure to co-curricular activities that will help them reach and accomplish their many goals. Mr. Varela is passionate about teaching and learning and wants our students to be exposed to master teachers and support staff. When he is not at the high school, Mr. Varela enjoys spending quality time with his wife and two sons.

 
 Mr. Michael Scheese   
Assistant Principal for Academic Leadership 

732.329.4044 x5203






Mr. Michael Scheese earned a Bachelor's degree in Business Education from Bloomsburg University. In addition, he holds a Master of Science degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from the University of Scranton. Mr. Scheese has been in the South Brunswick School District since 2004 where he has served as teacher, dean, Assistant Principal in the elementary schools, and Assistant Principal at the high school. Mr. Scheese also serves as the high school's Advanced Placement (AP) Coordinator.

 Mr. Emanuel Caravano
Assistant Principal for the Class of 2023
Caravano
732.329.4044 x5218





Mr. Emanuel Caravano earned his Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Human Services Counseling from Montclair State University. He then went on to complete his Masters in Educational Leadership from The College of New Jersey. Mr. Caravano obtained his certification in Supervision and Administration through the NJ EXCEL program and has been an administrator in South Brunswick since 2012. During his time at SBHS, he has partnered with faculty, staff, the leadership team, parents and students to employ restorative practices in our school. He looks forward to supporting the Class of 2023 this year and throughout their educational journey. Mr. Caravano is an avid runner and enjoys spending quality time with his wife and two daughters.
Mrs. Yoshi Donato 
Assistant Principal for the Class of 2025 & James Kimple Center
Yoshil Lassiter
732.329.4044 x5240
 

Ms. Yoshi Donato earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Maryland-College Park. She holds a Master's in the Art of Teaching from Marygrove College, Detroit as well as a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Additionally, she has completed 60 credit hours in a Doctoral program with Walden University. Before coming to South Brunswick in 2002, she worked as an English teacher in her hometown of Asbury Park. Prior to her appointment as Assistant Principal in 2016, she worked as an English teacher, Dean of Students, Advisor of Unlimited Few, a Peer Advisor at SBHS and Advisor to Step Up Club. Ms. Donato also holds the distinction of being a (retired) veteran of the United States Army in which she obtained the rank of Master Sergeant during her 20 year service to our country. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, daughter Jayna and contributing to community service endeavors with Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated.
 Mr. Brian McManus
Assistant Principal for the Class of 2024
McManus
732.329.4044 x5235




Before being the assistant principal for the class of 2024 at South Brunswick High School, Mr. McManus spent ten years as a high school English teacher, three years as a Pre-K through Grade 12 curriculum coordinator, and two years as a secondary school assistant principal. He started his teaching career working at a high school in Miramar, Florida. After three years, he moved to Beijing, PRC, where he worked at an international school for ten years. Before joining SBHS, he worked as an assistant principal at an international school in Dubai. Mr. McManus earned a Master of Arts in Writing and Literature from Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, and a Master of Education and Post-Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership from The College of New Jersey.  
 Vanessa Moreno 
Assistant Principal for the Class of 2026
Vanessa Moreno
732.329.4044 x5239
 

Ms. Vanessa Moreno earned her undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance and Music Education from Rutgers, Mason Gross School of the Arts. She then went on to earn her Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership from Montclair State University. Prior to accepting the assistant principal position at SBHS, she spent thirteen years in the classroom as a Choral Director and supported their Spring Musical as the Vocal Director.


Ms. Moreno was born and raised in Jersey City and is fluent in Spanish. Prior to becoming a vocalist, she was a violinist for ten years as a member of Manhattan School of Music’s Preparatory Division. She now keeps her artistic passions alive as a salsa dancer and as an avid concertgoer of various jazz and classical music performances.

Ms. Moreno looks forward to working with faculty, staff, students, and parents to ensure that our students receive an equitable education and become valued members in our school community.



Leadership Team




Ms. Anna Alfieri 
Supervisor of Mathematics & Science
Anna Alfieri
732.329.4044 x3241





Ms. Alfieri has been a math teacher at South Brunswick High School since September 1992 and a supervisor since September 2001. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from Rutgers University and a Master of Science in Mathematics Education from the University of New Hampshire. Ms. Alfieri believes that the most important aspect of math and science teaching is to communicate the beauty, relevance, and simplicity of the content while meeting the individual needs of the students.  
 Ms. Crystal Burnett
Chairperson of Science

732.329.4044 x3201





Mrs. Crystal Burnett has been teaching at SBHS in 2004 and has also taught in our Summer Institute program for 10 years. She has served as the science chairperson since 2016. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from The University of Texas. Prior to coming to South Brunswick she worked as a Laboratory Scientist. She looks forward to helping her colleagues inspire the next generation of scientists.
 Mr. Thomas Decker
Supervisor of World Language
decker
732.329.4044 x5201

 


Mr. Decker started in South Brunswick school district in September of 2006 in the role of K-12 Supervisor of World Language. In 2010, Mr. Decker was assigned the additional role of Supervisor of ELL. He has worked with both departments since 2010. In 2014 Mr. Decker was appointed the Head of School for the South Brunswick Summer Institute, a position he held for the past 7 years. Mr. Decker earned his B.A. from Rutgers University and his M.A. in Administration and Supervision from Georgian Court University. Mr. Decker believes in high expectations and outcomes and the focus and persistence to achieve them- all students have the capacity to achieve.
Ms. Nancy Ducko-Sweeney
Dean of Classes 2023 & 2024 
Nancy Ducko-Sweeney
732.329.4044 x5209 
 
Mrs. Ducko-Sweeney began teaching Special Education in 1994. She came to SBHS in September of 1996 as a Special Education teacher and never left! Mrs. Ducko-Sweeney earned her undergraduate degree at Millersville University and her Masters of Educational Leadership degree, with a focus in Urban Schools, at Jersey City University. She earned her Supervisor and Principal certifications in 2006. During her time at SBHS, Mrs. Ducko-Sweeney has coached girls soccer and lacrosse, was an advisor to the VTN club, and was the director of the Summer Mentoring program for students with social, emotional, and/or behavioral needs. In May of 2018, she was acknowledged as SBHS’s Educator of the Year, and she became a Dean of Students at SBHS in January of 2018. She is most proud of her involvement in the school’s and district’s efforts to promote professional development that highlights equity and inclusion, especially through differentiation and personalized learning.

Ms. Amy Finkelstein
Student Assistance & Wellness  Supervisor and Director of Guidance
 Amy Finkelstein
732.329.4044 x5220





Mrs. Finkelstein joined the staff of South Brunswick School District in 2002. She has served as a counselor in the James Kimple Center for Alternative Education, a Child Study Team Social Worker at Indian Fields/Dayton, a School Counselor at Constable, and now as Supervisor of Student Assistance and Wellness for the district. She holds a BA in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Michigan, a Masters in Social Work from the University of Chicago, and certificates in Clinical Supervision from Rutgers University. Mrs. Finkelstein believes that mental and physical wellness are key to academic and future success.
  Mr. John Harding
Health and PE Supervisor
John Harding

732.329.4044 x3208


Mr. Harding has been an educator in South Brunswick Schools since September of 1993. He has served as a health and physical education teacher and department chairperson before taking his current role as a K-12 Supervisor. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Montclair State College in Health and Physical Education and a Masters of Education at The College of New Jersey. His supervisor’s certificate was obtained through Rutgers University. Mr. Harding spent 18 years as the Head boy’s and girl’s swim coach at the High School, a program that he started from scratch. He also worked for many years in the Peer Leadership Program where he spent time as a Program Coordinator and Peer Teacher. Mr. Harding believes in educating the whole student; physically, mentally and emotionally. 
CJ Hendricks
Director of Athletics
CJ Hendricks
732.329.4044 x5233 
Mr. CJ Hendricks has been a Health & Physical Education teacher and coach in the South Brunswick School District since 2006. In January, 2022 he was hired as Director of Athletics for grades 6-12. He earned a Bachelor's of Science degree at Wesley College (DE) in Health and Physical Education and a Master's of Education at The College of New Jersey. His Supervisor’s certificate was obtained through Rowan University. Mr. Hendricks spent 6 years as the Head baseball coach at South Brunswick High School, before taking on his new position in the athletic program. He proudly works closely with the Unified Sports programs at both the middle and high school levels. Mr. Hendricks will work diligently to help provide student-athletes with opportunities to create positive, lifelong connections through sport and promote a culture of inclusion, sportsmanship, and school pride.
Mr. Douglas Hunt
Dean of Classes 2025 & 2026
Douglas Hunt
732.329.4044 x5204





Mr. Hunt has been an educator in South Brunswick Schools since September of 2003 and has been working in education since 1997. He has served as a health and physical education teacher, football coach, strength/conditioning coach and driver's education coordinator before taking his current role as Dean of Students in 2017. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Trenton State College in Health and Physical Education. Mr. Hunt has also worked on the elementary levels at Constable, Cambridge, Indian Fields and Monmouth Junction Schools. Mr. Hunt is also a member of medical emergency response team that also trains staff in first aid and CPR/AED instruction.
 Ms. Theresa Jennings
Supervisor of English & Social Studies

Theresa Jennings
732.329.4044 x5230




Mrs. Theresa Jennings earned her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in English Language and Literature from the Douglass College, Rutgers University. 
She holds a Master's in the Administration and Supervision from the University of Phoenix. Before coming to South Brunswick in 2013, she worked as an English teacher at Monroe High School for 10 years after staying home for many years to raise her four children. Mrs. Jennings' belief is that excellent reading and writing proficiency is one of the most valuable skills you can acquire during high school. Here at SBHS, the Humanities Department is dedicated to prepare all students with the necessary tools to communicate, both orally and through the written word.
 Mr. Jeff Johnson
Social Studies Department Co-Chair
Jeff

732.329.4044 x3288 
Mr. Jeff Johnson has been a history teacher at South Brunswick High School since 2002 and served as Co-Chair of the History Department since 2020. Currently, he is the Head Girls Basketball Coach, a position he has held since 2012.  In the past he has coached Football, Volleyball and ran a club focused on Stocks and Investing. He received his undergraduate degree in Political Science and Marketing from Wagner College, then later his Master’s in Secondary Education also from Wagner College. In 2021 he completed a Masters Degree in School Leadership from Rowan University.

Besides running basketball camps in the summer through the SB Community Education Program, he is the manager at the local swim club where his two sons participate on the swim team. Throughout the fall and spring, he volunteers as a baseball and football coach for both of his sons’ teams.  His wife is also a middle school English teacher in the Pennsauken School District and as a family they recently welcomed our new puppy named Cooper into their home.

Mr. Johnson’s goal is to create an environment that allows every student to maximize their potential. A recent focus of his has been the impact of Covid on the “norms” of the classroom and how to use the best practices that were created during that remote/hybrid time period meshed with what had been working prior to going remote in 2020.

 Ms. Kristin Laskin
Supervisor of 9-12
Business, Family and Consumer Science, Art and 6-12 Technology

Kristin Laskin
732.329.4044 x3229

Ms. Kristin Laskin has been a Business Education teacher at South Brunswick High School since September 2001 and the Supervisor of the Applied/Fine Arts & Technology Education departments since September 2006. Before moving to education, she worked in the corporate world as an Inventory Control Manager for the RJC Corporation; in Boston and later in Marketing and Supply Chain Management for Phillips-Van Heusen in Bridgewater, NJ.


Ms. Laskin earned an Associate of Arts degree in Hospitality Management from Johnson & Wales University, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Seton Hall University, and a Master of Arts from the School of Education in Curriculum, Instruction & Supervision from Rider University.

 

Over the years, Ms. Laskin has created the “Pathways to Business” dual credit college program after being awarded the Tech Prep Grant in 2006, reinstated the South Brunswick Chapter of Future Business Leaders of America in 2002, started the AP Economics program in 2004, and has also been an advisor to both FBLA and Fed Challenge Competitive teams.



 Mr. Justin McCuen
James Kimple Center Chair

 Justin McCuen
732.329.4044 x2205




Mr. McCuen began as a Social Studies Teacher at SBHS in 2005 after graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in History from Arcadia University. He has been teaching Social Studies in the James Kimple Center for Alternative Education for the past 17 years where he has served as Chairperson for the last 7 years. In addition Mr. McCuen has been an Assistant Boys Basketball Coach during his tenure at SBHS.
Ms. Lauren Morris
Activities Coordinator
Lauren Morris
732.329.4044 x3316 
Mrs. Lauren Morris began her teaching career at South Brunswick High School in 2002 as a student teacher, and never left.  She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Social Studies from Rider University, and she holds a Masters in Inclusion Education from New England University. Prior to her current role as Activities Coordinator, Mrs. Morris taught Social Studies, and was also the Student Council Advisor for 9 years.  She loves working with students and helping them participate in the many traditions of SBHS while also providing opportunities for them to show their leadership skills. You can often find her fully decked out for our many spirit days, tutu and all.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, daughters Maggie and Lilly, reading, exercising and traveling.
 Dr. Justin Negraval
Social Studies Department Co-Chair

732.329.4044 x3288 
 

Dr. Negraval has been a member of the Social Studies Department since 2005. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in History, a Master’s in Social Studies Education, and a Doctorate in Education, Culture, and Society from Rutgers University. He is also a lecturer at the Rutgers’ Graduate School of Education. Dr. Negraval’s research interests include academic tracking, educational theory, civic education, and the role of school in society. He looks forward to working with his colleagues, our students, and the greater community, in supporting our premier social studies program at SBHS.
Mr. Steven Schiff
Computer Science Department Chair
Schiff 


Mr. Steven Schiff earned a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Business Economics from Rutgers University.  Additionally, Mr. Schiff holds a Master’s degree in Educational Theory and Practice from Arkansas State University as well as a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois.  Mr. Schiff started teaching at South Brunswick High School in 2008.  During his tenure, he created the Mobile Development and Virtual Reality courses.  He also designed the Computer Science (CS) Academy structure, CS parent council, and leads the creation of new CS content.  He also works with students on special projects, and is always looking to involve parents and community stakeholders wherever possible.

 Mr. Robert Sears
Supervisor of K-12 Music
Robert Sears
732.329.4633 x3846

 

Mr. Robert Sears earned his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from The College of New Jersey with a concentration in instrumental music (Trumpet) and started his teaching career here in South Brunswick teaching music at Crossroads Middle School. During this time he completed a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership obtaining both Supervisor and Principal certifications. He then went on to serve as the K-12 Supervisor of Visual, Performing, and Practical Arts for the Vernon Township Schools in Sussex County, NJ.

In 2014, Mr. Sears returned to the South Brunswick School District as the K-12 Supervisor of Music where he is privileged to lead and support our K-12 music program that has consistently been designated as one of the Best Communities For Music Education by the NAMM Foundation.
Mrs. Emily Wright
Supervisor of Special Education

Wright
732.329.4044 x3222   
 


Ms. Emily Wright earned a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from The College of New Jersey in 2012. In addition, she holds a dual Master's in the Art of Teaching (Special Education K-12 and Elementary Education). Ms. Wright also obtained her Masters in Educational Leadership from The College of New Jersey in 2017. Ms. Wright previously served as the Transition Coordinator and Extended School Year Coordinator in the South Brunswick School District, at which time she also co-advised the Interact Club and Viking Closet Club. Ms. Wright served as a K-12 Supervisor of Special Education in Holmdel Township before returning home to South Brunswick as a 6-12 Supervisor of Special Education. She looks forward to working with families to support young adults in our community.