More Opportunities for Public to Impact Superintendent Search, Oct. 6 & 9

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The October 6 forums will take place at the South Orange-Maplewood School District Administration Building at 525 Academy Street in Maplewood.

The October 6 forums will take place at the South Orange-Maplewood School District Administration Building at 525 Academy Street in Maplewood.

Members of the public have a few more opportunities to influence the criteria to be used in the search for a new superintendent of schools for the South Orange-Maplewood School District.

Following on a series of forums held this past summer and in September, community members can attend meetings on Monday, Oct. 6 and Thursday, Oct. 9, to “provide input to the development of the leadership profile and search criteria that will be used to identify and evaluate superintendent candidates,” wrote Board of Education President Beth Daugherty in a release earlier this week. Forums will be held:

  • Monday, October 6, in the District Meeting Room, 525 Academy St.: Maplewood Elementary & Middle School Parents focus group from 7:00-8:15 p.m; Open Forum, open to the community from 8:15 – 9:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 9, in the Columbia High School Library: Middle & High School parents focus group from 7:00-8:15 pm; Open Forum, open to the community from 8:15 – 9:30 p.m.; and Teachers and Support Staff from 3:45 – 4:45 p.m.

Members of the public can also speak on Monday, October 13, at a special meeting of the Board in the Columbia High School library. Although the public session will move immediately to closed session so that Board members can “review the leadership profile and finalize the superintendent search criteria developed based on community input,” the Board will return to public session at 8:30 p.m.

During public session on October 13, Dr. Leroy Nunery of HYA Associates will present an overview of the leadership profile and search criteria. Members of the public will also be able to present concerns, thoughts and opinions during the public speaks portion of the open meeting. The meeting will conclude with a discussion and vote by the Board on the superintendent search criteria.

On Monday, November 10, the Board will meet in executive session to select the candidates that will be invited for a first round of interviews. At a forum on September 13, Nunery reported that “22 or 23 candidates” had already applied for the job.

Daugherty said that the first and second rounds of interviews will take place in December. The Board will invite the three Board of Education candidates that win in the November 4 election to observe these interview sessions and participate in the pursuant Board discussions about candidate qualifications. However, only current Board members will be involved in selecting the candidates that return for the second round of interviews. The identity of the candidates participating in the first and second round of interviews will be kept confidential.

After the Board of Education Reorganization meeting in early January, the Board plans to select the finalists, conduct further interviews and approve a new superintendent. The new superintendent will start on or before July 1, 2015, wrote Daugherty.

The search for a new superintendent began after Brian Osborne resigned in June to accept a position in New Rochelle, NY for additional pay. Osborne was facing a 40% paycut at the end of his contract in June due to the salary cap on superintendent salaries imposed by Governor Christie.

“We are grateful to everyone who has provided input and thank the community for their cooperation in this process,” wrote Daugherty.

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