Meet the Princeton High School Administration
- Frank Chmiel
- Rashone Johnson
- Cecilia Birge
- Dr. Nicole Mantuano Lacsamana
- Diana Lygas
- Main Office Staff
Frank Chmiel grew up in Elizabeth, NJ. He was raised by two highly supportive parents who pushed him to try his best at whatever he did.
At an early age, Mr. Chmiel became involved in sports including football, baseball, and basketball. His teachers identified him as likely to succeed in Elizabeth’s Gifted & Talented (G&T) program, which he entered in 2nd grade. He took honors level and eventually Advanced Placement (AP) courses throughout his elementary, middle school, and high school years and became the captain of the highly-ranked Elizabeth High School varsity football team, earning Star-Ledger 1st-Team All-State honors. Sadly and unexpectedly, Mr. Chmiel’s father passed away during his senior year, which changed the course of his future plans. Mr. Chmiel decided to stay close to home to be near his mother, and he married his high school sweetheart. When the Princeton University football program recruited him, Mr. Chmiel committed to Princeton and he, his wife and his family have been here ever since.
Mr. Chmiel taught Social Studies for 15 years at Montgomery High School, where he was recognized three different times for distinguished teaching by the Department of Education, The College of New Jersey, and Princeton University. He taught AP Art History and co-authored a test preparation book on the topic. During Mr. Chmiel's ten years of teaching AP Art History, Montgomery High School's students received three College Board designations for being the highest achieving large high school.
Mr. Chmiel began his administrative career at Franklin High School as a vice principal. He served in that capacity for five years before being promoted to principal, where he happily served for three years before being appointed the principal of Princeton High School. During his last two years in Franklin, Mr. Chmiel was a member of the District Core Equity Team and was extensively involved in training and efforts to promote greater equity and inclusion in AP course enrollment. He led a team of Franklin High School staff in providing professional development to over 200 FHS faculty members on equity, inclusion, and culturally and linguistically responsive teaching.
Mr. Chmiel strives to provide a safe, welcoming, and positive learning environment in any school that he leads. He feels that all members of the learning community should feel known, valued, and respected, that all faculty and staff are his colleagues, that students are his fellow learners, and that Princeton High School has a calling to reach and teach all learners.
Mr. Chmiel and his wife have four children, two of whom graduated from Princeton High School, and two who are currently in the school system. His side interests include exercising, going to the shore, visiting museums, hiking, and studying martial arts. Currently, Mr. Chmiel studies Jeet Kune Do, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Kali/Filipino Martial Arts, and Silat.
Rashone Johnson received his B.A. in corporate fitness from The College of New Jersey. He earned his Master’s in Educational Administration and Supervision from Rider University, where he was a member of Phi Delta Kappa. A lifelong learner, Mr. Johnson earned 30 credits from the University of LaVerne, taking courses related to health education and wellness, and a certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University in 2021.
Mr. Johnson taught health and physical education at Princeton High School and served as the Head Coach for Wrestling and the Head Coach for the Spring Boys’ Track and Field Team for 19 years before he became an Assistant Principal. His passion for athletic excellence in the classroom, and in a team environment, is driven by his own experience as an Amateur Athletic Union Espoir Freestyle and Greco Roman Wrestling National Champion, an NCAA Division III All-American wrestler, and a US Olympic Wrestling Team Trial Regional Medalist. His dedicated support and steadfast encouragement helped lead the Wrestling and Spring Boys’ Track and Field teams to individual and team NJ State Championships and he received multiple Coach of the Year honors.
An Assistant Principal since 2019, Mr. Johnson is responsible for student/parent communication, intervention and referral services, restorative practices, teacher observations, and summer programing, and for facilities, transportation, safety and security, daily building operations at PHS and Affirmative Action Officer for the school district as well. He brings to his role a dedication to the success of all Princeton High School students and tremendous enthusiasm for fostering positive relationships within the entire PHS community. His goal as an educational leader is to help every student to reach their full potential.
Mr. Johnson is a Marvel and DC Universe aficionado. He enjoys spending time with his family, including watching his children grow as athletes: his son in elementary school soccer and wrestling, and his daughter in middle school basketball.
I grew up in Beijing, China and immigrated into America. I have a B.A. in history from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania as well as a master’s degree in educational leadership from the Teachers College of Columbia University.
I taught math and special education at PHS, worked as the Assistant Coach of PHS Girls’ Volleyball Team as well as the Head Coach of Princeton Speech and Debate Team. I have four children, including two recent graduates. Witnessing their transformation over the years has brought so much joy to my life! It also makes me enormously grateful to PHS - we are very lucky to have such a dedicated team of professionals who are truly committed to educational excellence. As Assistant Principal, my goal is to support them and our students so that Princeton can continue to break new grounds and be the lighthouse district of education.
On the personal side, I live in the Jackson-Witherspoon Historic District in town. I love the rich, often unexpected history as well as the people of my neighborhood. When I am not working, you will find me in the library (favorite genre: biographies), Small World Coffee (double latte to go), a yoga studio in any place I travel to (always Bikram) or on a hiking trail (preferably in New England)
Dr. Nicole Mantuano Lacsamana (aka "Dr. M") earned her doctorate in education from Rutgers University, a master’s degree in educational administration from Temple University, and a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, where she majored in psychology, journalism, and English. She is fluent in written and spoken French.
Dr. M previously worked at Cherry Hill High School East, where she taught English and a social justice course that she helped develop with the University of Pennsylvania. During her seven years at Cherry Hill High School East, she created and delivered English instruction for honors, accelerated, and college prep courses. She served on the curriculum and cultural proficiency teams for the district. Dr. M also served as the assistant girls’ basketball coach and the Filipino culture society advisor in Cherry Hill. She started teaching in 2002 in Philadelphia.
While working at Cherry Hill High School East, Dr. M was also a teaching fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Social Justice Research Academy. In previous years, she was also an English adjunct professor at Rowan College at Burlington County, and an English as a second language adjunct professor at Cumberland County College.
She lives in Marlton with her husband, four children, and their dog Stella. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and coaching her children’s activities.
Diana Lygas is a school counselor who serves the PHS community as its Dean of Students. Her office enhances our students’ experience, development and achievement through direct support, creating connections, and fostering an inclusive and engaging campus climate. Mrs. Lygas is responsible for 9th grade orientation and transition programs, our robust club program, and several campus activities. In addition, she counsels students and groups and serves as the PHS Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying (HIB) Specialist. She also serves as a member of the school administrative team and assists with general building supervision and operations. Lygas chairs the PHS School Safety team related to HIB and serves on the PHS Stakeholder committees for school safety, traumatic loss, I&RS, Teen PEP and Peer Group.
Mrs. Lygas has been at PHS since 2008 and her favorite part of counseling students is helping them work through their problems and pursue their passions. She especially enjoys spending time with students on special projects related to their clubs. Mrs. Lygas has served as the advisor of the Prince yearbook for the past seven years and is the student council advisor to the class of 2021.
Mrs. Lygas attended Rutgers University as an undergraduate and earned her B.S. degree in Exercise Science and Sport Studies. She earned her master’s degree in School Counseling at The College of New Jersey and holds state certification as a school counselor, supervisor, student assistance coordinator, and director of school counseling services. She is currently taking courses to pursue principal certification and a second master’s degree in Educational Leadership.
We are looking forward to a great school year!