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Principal Diane Ziegler in front of Somerset County Vocational and Technical High School where she has worked for 32 years

SCVTHS Principal Diane Ziegler, who is set to retire at the end of December 2019.



After 32 years at Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School (SCVTHS), Principal Diane Ziegler is set to retire at the end of December 2019. Principal Ziegler first served as an English Instructor for 16 years before moving into the position of Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction, where she spent 8 years, finally becoming principal for the last 8 years of her tenure.

As she enters retirement, Principal Ziegler intends to spend quality time with her family and plans to give back by working in a community service oriented capacity in the future. Principal Ziegler also intends on taking some time to travel. She is already planning on spending the month of March in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with her mother. While there, she will be attending water aerobics classes, playing cards with her mother’s large group of girlfriends and “trying to keep up with all of them!”

Reflecting on her time at SCVTHS, Principal Ziegler said, “I am pleased with the positive changes I have made to our school’s culture and climate with both the students and the staff.” Ziegler went on to mention some of the changes she instituted, including the creation of “areas to display our students’ accomplishments for SkillsUSA, Stellar Students and Scholar Athletes.” Ziegler also remarked on “working closely with the school community to create a PTO and to establish activities to bolster staff morale through Jag Swag days, Teacher Appreciation basket giveaways and the Sunshine Club.”

Superintendent Dr. Chrys Harttraft said Principal Ziegler “has made an indelible mark on the SCVTHS as both a teacher and an administrator.” Dr. Harttraft went on to add, “During her almost nine years as Principal, Diane ushered in the new Danielson and Stronge evaluations and helped teachers understand the importance of effective instruction. These evaluations helped the school focus on continuous improvement in instructional strategies while increasing rigor. Most importantly, Diane remained focused on improving school-wide culture and climate and provided multiple opportunities for student and staff activities. She also devoted her time to increasing parental involvement, whose activities enriched the educational community and solidified parental commitment to the school’s goals. It is these aspects and others too voluminous to list, that makes us grateful for her contributions, while wishing her the best in her retirement.”

“I will miss our school community,” Ziegler said. Ziegler added she will specifically miss, “The amazing community service projects our teachers and students organize and run on any given day throughout the year and the day-to-day academic and career and technical accomplishments of our students.”

Ziegler stated her most rewarding experience was, “Hands down, to have the honor and privilege to lead and to work with such a diverse staff who are extremely hard working, caring and committed to our students and their families.”

“I distinctly remember a day in my senior year of college when the professor opened the Methods of Teaching High School English class by saying, ‘Congratulations. Do you all realize that you have made the decision to attend high school for the rest of your life?’ While his statement caught my attention because I had never really thought of my career path in such a way, I am so happy and grateful that I was given the opportunity to work at Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School for the past 32 years!”

Ziegler concluded by stating, “While the job of an educator has certainly changed over the years, at the end of the day, I feel very blessed to have worked in such a noble profession and one in which we are able to really make a positive difference in a student’s life.”

For more information on this story, please contact James Strickhart at (908) 526-8900, x7169 or