Editor’s note: We have added a sentence reflecting the number of board members who participated in the selection process.
The South Orange – Maplewood Board of Education is expected to publicly announce Monday night its choice to be the next leader of the school district.
“We are very happy to be announcing the name,” said BOE President Wayne Eastman in a phone interview Monday afternoon. The choice is someone “all eight [board members] strongly and unanimously support.” (Board member Johanna Wright did not participate in the selection process because she has a family member who is a district employee).
Eastman said the candidate, whom he declined to identify until after tonight’s meeting, met all the board’s criteria including managerial excellence, financial expertise, the ability to develop a strategy and uphold a vision, and “strength of character and personality.”
The new superintendent is expected to begin August 1, 2015. Until then, James Memoli will continue as Acting Superintendent.
The district embarked on a search for a new Superintendent shortly after Brian Osborne resigned in June of 2014, hiring the search firm, Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates. In July, the BOE announced that a candidate whom the board had hoped to appoint as an interim superintendent had withdrawn his application for personal reasons.
After holding several community focus groups, led by Dr. Leroy Nunery of HYA, as well as an online survey, the board finalized criteria to be used for the selection of a new superintendent of schools in October, then met to select candidates for the first round of interviews in November. It was previously reported that “22 or 23 candidates” had already applied for the job.
Then-BOE President Beth Daugherty said the board hoped to select finalists by January 2015.
However, after the November election brought three new members to the board — and the selection of Eastman as its new president — the newly-reorganized board decided to advertise for more candidates for the position.
Eastman said in January that board wanted to get this “most important” decision right. He said that the decision to extend the search did not reflect differences in either the views of former and current board leadership or with the quality of the candidates.
On Monday, Eastman said the board was “very happy” with Dr. Nunery’s work in the search process.