A Closer Look at Manville’s Assistant Superintendent, Ms. Kelli Eppley 

Brandon Alvarado

Ms. Kelli Eppley, who is one of the newest recruitments to the Manville School District administration, comes with years of experience and is extremely happy to be here. Ms. Eppley is the new Assistant Superintendent and is located in the Superintendent’s Office here at the high school. She grew up in Hamilton, NJ in a vastly large and diverse community. Ms. Eppley is happy that she made the decision to come to the Manville School District. When asked how she felt about Manville so far she exclaimed, “I love it here!” 

Growing up in Hamilton, NJ, which is 45 minutes from Manville where she grew up as a single child with both her mother and father. She stated, “I have a teeny tiny family.” She has been able to expand her family size a bit more after her marriage, having one wonderful son. Prior to this, during her high school experience, Ms. Kelli Eppley was heavily involved. For example, she participated in Drama, Singing, and Key Club (similar to National Honors Society). She communicated how she loved high school, had a good group of friends surrounding her, and enjoyed performing in extracurricular activities. Ms. Eppley reflects on her high school experience as she states, “I think doing a variety of things helps me in planning for high school programming now because I do look back on my high school experiences and think what could we do for Manville High School to make it even better for our students.” 

Moving on, Ms. Kelli Eppley later attended The College of New Jersey where she was persuaded to obtain a Psychological and Early Education major since her mother always thought she would make a great teacher. Her major selection was partially the reason why she attended TCNJ since their education program was highly regarded. She was also a first-generation college student and so getting accepted there was a good option for her as it was close to home, allowing for her to be a commuter. 

After graduating from TCNJ, she began working at a charter school in Camden which was a challenge for her. She stated, “Being so young with challenges in terms of student behavior that I wasn’t yet equipped to handle.” She continued mentioning how when someone is a new kid out of college it’s very challenging because they are just experiencing things for the first time so they need to first get some experience. After that first year where she got the experience she was looking for, she actually got a job in her very own hometown, which was very interesting to her as her old principal was the one who hired her. Ms. Eppley was at Hamilton School District for 20 years where she saw her career grow from being a teacher to getting her masters in Educational Leadership from Rutgers allowing her to get promoted to a supervisor position and eventually hired as an elementary school principal in one of the 17th elementary schools the district has.

Ms. Eppley started at MSD towards the end of last school year, so this year is when many students became familiar with her. While Ms. Eppley is the Assistant Superintendent she has plenty of responsibilities including working closely with the school supervisors in planning programs, deciding what classes to include in the program of studies, the hiring of teachers and other positions, which resources the schools should utilize, and she is also extremely involved with the curriculum. When asked how she felt about working here in Manville she stated, “I love it here!” She came from a very large school district as well as a large town so being a part of Manville in a school community allows her the opportunity to really get to know people at a quicker rate. 

Ms. Eppley is extremely happy to be working here at the Manville Schools where she hopes to make a difference in the students’ lives since it is a small district, change can happen quicker. She loves to work with at-risk students because everyone has an opportunity to succeed and she wants to be a part of that. As a teacher, one is able to make a difference, but in an administrative role, one can reach and impact a bigger group of people. Her job is always making the decisions that will benefit the students the most, which is what the district leadership can allow her to do. Ms. Eppley is extremely passionate about the district and what it stands for, as she believes the motto, “Here is every child, every day” is one of the most valuable things about the community as a whole. Her advice to the students and staff is, “Treat every day like a new day and really give students the benefit of the doubt. I believe very strongly that most people want to be successful, they just need to find that right connection.”