Millburn Schools Get a New Super, Livingston Appoints an Interim

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In the wake of South Orange-Maplewood School District getting a new superintendent in the form of Dr. John Ramos, Millburn and Livingston’s school districts have recently made announcements of their own.

The Millburn Board of Education has offered the position of superintendent of schools to Dr. Robert Zywicki. Meanwhile, the Livingston Board of Education approved the appointment of Dr. Ernest Palestis as Interim Superintendent of Schools.

Zywicki replaces Dr. James Crisfield, who headed Millburn’s schools from 2o1o through this past February. Crisfield cited New Jersey’s superintendent salary cap for his decision to leave for a job out of state.

School leaders in Livingston said they were waiting for legislative action on NJ Senate bill 1987, which would prohibit the Department of Education from regulating the maximum salary a school district may pay its superintendent, before searching for a permanent superintendent.

Meanwhile, back in Livingston, Palestis replaces Jim O’Neill, who served as interim for the past year. According to the Livingston Public School’s website, O’Neill will remain in the District until August 31, to work with Palestis on a “seamless” transition plan. Palestis takes over on September 1.

In Millburn, the Board is still negotiating the terms of Zywicki’s contract of employment. His salary has not yet been made public. Pending approval by the Executive County Superintendent for Essex County, Zywicki will join the District effective July 1, 2015.

Zywicki currently serves as the Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology of the High Point Regional School District, in Sussex County, NJ. He is also an adjunct professor at both the Rutgers University Center for Effective School Practices and the School of Education at Saint Peter’s University. Zywicki has served as a consultant to several districts on how to increase efficiency and digital learning opportunities for students via Google Apps for Education.

Zywicki first worked as a teacher. He taught Advanced Placement (AP) Microeconomics and AP Macroeconomics at Montgomery High School, in Montgomery Township, NJ and taught history and coached lacrosse at Voorhees High School. Zywicki started his career in education teaching middle school social studies in the Bayonne Public Schools. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers College of Rutgers University, and earned his Master of Arts and Doctor of Education from the School of Education at Saint Peter’s University. Zywicki and his wife Melanie have four children.

Livingston’s new Interim Superintendent Palestis previously served as superintendent of the Morris Hills Regional High School District and the Mine Hill K-6 district. He currently serves as interim Superintendent of the Ogdensburg School District, and previously served as interim for the Ramapo Indian Hills Regional High School District. Palestis possesses a Doctorate in Education Leadership.



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