The age of interims is coming to a close.
After years of administrative churn and something of a clearing-of-the-decks by interim superintendent Dr. Thomas Ficarra, the South Orange-Maplewood School District is looking forward to some long-term stability under the direction of new Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ronald Taylor.
Appointed by the Board of Education in April, Taylor comes to South Orange-Maplewood with a history of moving a diverse district toward equity and shepherding large construction projects — important experience considering the fact that SOMSD is embarking on a $160M Long Range Facilities Plan and Intentional Integration program.
Taylor officially started on July 8. Village Green met with him briefly on July 10; Taylor told Village Green that he was working hard to familiarize himself with all aspects of the district as well as preparing the district for the opening of the 2019-2020 school year in September. [Editor’s note: Dr. Taylor will NOT be present for the July 15 BOE meeting as was previously reported by Village Green. Dr. Taylor is away for a pre-planned family obligation. We regret the error.]
Taylor sent the following statement as a followup:
“I am honored to begin my post as Superintendent of Schools for the School District of South Orange and Maplewood. On July 8, 2019, I officially began my appointment as the Chief School Administrator. My first few days have been a whirlwind of excitement…meeting constituents, discussing pressing matters and introducing myself to members of the South Orange-Maplewood family! I would like to thank Board President Annemarie Maini and the Board of Education for their rigorous vetting process. Prior to beginning my appointment, I was able to attend multiple introduction sessions with stakeholder groups. These sessions were authentic and very meaningful, as I work to gain true context regarding the state of our District. I look forward to continuing these dialogues (through several platforms), with a goal of ‘learning and assessing’ our district’s efficiency and effectiveness…all while working to ensure that we are the school district that our students, families and community deserve.”