Brunt Named Principal of St. Mary High School in Rutherford

Tara Brunt, a career Catholic educator with nearly four decades of experience in secondary education and administration in the Newark Archdiocese and Paterson Diocese, has been named principal of St. Mary High School in Rutherford.

As principal, she will be responsible for directing the academic, administrative and institutional activities of this 86-year old parish-based high school where excellent teaching and innovation develop effective communication, independent thinking, and creative problem solving for college and life experiences.

Tara Brunt joins St. Mary High School after serving for nine years as Director of Development of the Academy of the Holy Angels, a private Catholic high school for young women in Demarest where she was responsible for planning, management and evaluation of annual and capital fundraising, alumnae relations and communications. 

Prior to Holy Angels, she spent 16 years at the Academy of St. Aloysius, a private Catholic high school for young women in Jersey City, first as Assistant Principal and then as Principal. Before that, she served for 13 years as a Teacher, Department Chair, Coach, Athletic Director, and, ultimately, Assistant Principal at Neumann Preparatory High School, a former coeducational Catholic high school in Wayne. 

In commenting on the appointment, Rev. Michael J. Kreder, pastor of St. Mary Parish and spiritual leader of St. Mary High School and Elementary School, said: “Tara Brunt brings to this important educational role very specific qualities that will benefit our school and our students.   

“She is committed to excellence in academics – the key reason parents send their children to school. She also knows first-hand as both a competitive athlete and as a former coach and Athletic Director the challenges and rewards of instilling a culture that balances extracurricular activities with superior academics.

“What’s more,” he continued, “her knowledge of building solid and dependable fundraising and alumni relations will serve St. Mary well as we look to ensure the school’s growth into the future.”

A native of Clifton, Brunt received a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education, Health and Recreation from Kean University, where she also excelled as a competitive scholar-athlete in Softball, Basketball and Field Hockey. She also earned Masters of Arts degrees from Montclair State University in Administration and Supervision in both Education and in Physical Education.   

She holds Standard New Jersey Teacher, Supervisor and Principal Certifications. In addition, she holds memberships in the National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Catholic Educational Association, Association of Fundraising Professionals, and the New York City Chapter of Women in Development. Her academic-related achievements and activities also have included numerous Middle States Evaluation Teams and membership in the Archdiocese of Newark’s Principals’ Council.

She and her husband, Thomas, live in Belleville.

Says Tara Brunt of her new position: “I am an educator at heart. It is my hope that this passion, along with my experiences as Teacher, Coach, Athletic Director and Administrator, will serve the parents, faculty, staff and greater St. Mary community well as we work together to provide a challenging and rewarding 21st century education for the young men and women entrusted to us.”

St. Mary High School was founded in 1929 as a parish high school affiliated with St. Mary Parish in Rutherford and originally staffed by members of the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell. St. Mary High School  — “a Small, Personal, Catholic Choice” — aims to educate young men and women according to the Catholic philosophy of life by the development of human and Christian values that will enable them to take their places in the community as intelligent, spiritually vigorous, cultured, and open-minded Americans.  

St. Mary High School is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.