Education

Community Members Concerned About Expected Short Turnaround for Superintendent Hire

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BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Bridgewater-Raritan board of education is hoping to choose a new superintendent by January - but some are afraid that is too fast.

Current Superintendent of Schools Victor Hayek will be leaving the district as of January. He is resigning after serving the district since September 2014. 

Dr. Daniel Silvia, now assistant superintendent, will be serving as interim superintendent until a new one is chosen.

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“We will see candidates Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for the interview process,” board of education president Ann Marie Mead said at Tuesday's board of education meeting.

The board of education has hired Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates to handle the superintendent search. The company was expected to screen candidates by Nov. 5, and present five candidates to the board of education for interviews starting at the beginning of December.

Second-round interviews are currently scheduled for mid December, with a new superintendent expected to be appointed Jan. 5.

But community members voiced their concerns about choosing a superintendent in just a few months.

Former board member Evan Lerner, asked why the board is insisting on choosing a new superintendent so quickly, and why they are limiting their search to only five resumes.

“You are limiting your search to five resumes,” he said. “With a dearth of applicants, I don’t understand why you would limit your search.”

“Hayek was here less than a year and decided he’s moving on,” Lerner said. “You have an interim superintendent, I don’t understand why it has to be done by January.”

Beth Colucci, special education teacher at Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School, said the lack of a long-term superintendent is inhibiting the board of education from accomplishing long-term goals.

“It’s one disappointment after another," she said. "Lack of a long-standing superintendent doesn’t allow for long-term accomplishments. Our superintendent handed in another resignation letter.”

Mead said the board would note the public's concerns and address them.

Lerner also said the board should be more transparent with the public about superintendent discussions.

“You do all your stuff in closed session,” he said. “There are thousands of kids, a thousand teachers, I really don’t understand the continued insistence to do stuff without telling the public.”

Mead said the board is relaying everything they can to the public.

“I can’t accept that we aren’t conducting in public,” she said. “I’m not going to make this a q and a.”

Lerner urged the board to take more time to make a decision on a superintendent, and to look into more potential candidates.

“By the time we come here next, your decision will likely be made,” he said. “You have an interim superintendent, I don’t understand why it has to be done by January with five resumes.”

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