From Harrison Township School to Haddonfield

Harrison Township School’s Valerie Cline is making the move to Tatem

Valerie Cline

By ALISON LOWERY, The Sun

As a young girl, Valerie Cline was eager to learn, which paved the way for her to have a successful career in education. Now she is taking on the role of principal at Tatem Elementary School.

“When August came, I couldn’t wait for school to begin in September,” Cline reminisced, smiling ear to ear. “I would get ready, get all my school supplies and count the days down until the first day of school.”

Inspired by her sixth-grade teacher, Cline knew one day she wanted to pursue a career in education and become a principal.

As assistant principal of Harrison Township School for the past four years, Cline said she formed a bond with many of her colleagues and will be sad to say goodbye.

“I have learned a lot in four years that I will take with me,” she said. “It’s going to be a little sad to leave them … they are all my friends”

The staff at Harrison Township School believes Cline’s presence will not be forgotten. Robert Scharlè, business administrator for Harrison Township Schools, believes Haddonfield will be lucky to have Cline as a new principal.

“No doubt about it, I will miss her,” Scharlè said. “She will do well … Haddonfield will do well.”

The Washington Township native received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a minor in sociology from Rowan University. She went on to get her master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Scranton, along with a master’s degree in reading from Rowan University.

“It’s always been my goal to be principal,” Cline said.

After a few years of looking for the right fit, she knew after starting the interview process with Haddonfield that it just “felt right” and subsequently, so did the Haddonfield School District.

Cline’s primary goal for the transition period from Harrison Township to Haddonfield is to “listen and learn as much as possible.”

“I can’t establish a vision without the input from the staff,” Cline said.

Looking forward to working in a smaller school, Cline believes she will be able to develop a closer relationship with the parents and students of Tatem.

Her husband, Chris Cline, understands exactly why she was chosen to be Tatem’s new principal.

Chris said that not only is his wife warm and thoughtful, but devoted to her friends, family and career. Her ability to keep her hectic life organized and her diligence also play a role in her success as an educator, according to Chris.

“All of these traits have helped her to be successful in her career and life,” Chris said. “Valerie is truly a student of education and she continually seeks to learn and grow as an educator. She reads educational books, attends workshops and webinars for fun.”

Cline admits she is introverted and enjoys gardening as well as reading in her spare time. When she isn’t at school, she can be found out with her two sons and husband, traveling or hanging out with her three Yorkshire Terrier dogs. As an aspiring minimalist, Cline also enjoys organizing and decluttering any chance she gets.

Although she believes she is the lucky one, her co-workers, friends and family know Tatem will be in good hands.

“Haddonfield is getting a very dedicated educational leader,” Chris said.

Cline will make the complete transition to Tatem on July 1.