BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Bridgewater-Raritan’s search for a new permanent superintendent will extend into next year.

It was revealed at the June 9 virtual meeting of the Bridgewater-Raritan board of education that the school district will not be choosing a successor to outgoing superintendent Russell Lazovick in the next several months.

“This is not the time to have a change in the district,” said school board vice president Jill Gladstone, who has spearheaded the board’s superintendent search committee.

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Lazovick is leaving the district on June 30 to become principal at Ridge High School.

The decision to hold off on a selection came following a meeting of the committee on June 3, in which Gladstone said that there had been 39 applications for the position, both from inside and outside New Jersey, as brought to the district by the New Jersey School Boards Association. The committee had whittled that number down to a pool of about 10 candidates, before it was decided to maintain an interim superintendent for the next year, as the district continues to work its way around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that began in mid-March and has suspended or cancelled all in-person classes and district activities since then.

The school board has already selected longtime educator Dr. Thomas Ficarra to serve as interim superintendent in Bridgewater-Raritan, beginning July 1. Gladstone thanked all those who had applied for the superintendent position at this time, and all who had taken the survey regarding the position.

Lazovick came to Bridgewater-Raritan in July 2016 after serving five years as the superintendent in Nutley Township in Essex County. Prior to that, he served two years as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in the West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District.

He began his academic career as a teacher in New Brunswick and Las Vegas before moving into educational administration, after graduating from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and then a master's degree in Education/English.

The June 9 meeting was also the final meeting for Bridgewater-Raritan High School seniors and school board student representatives Jessica Brookner and Jasmine DeLeon, who asked to come back for one last meeting to give a final report. Both will graduate virtually from BRHS with their peers June 23, although the board is still working on a possible “live” graduation sometime in July, if the state allows it, among other stipulations.

Both thanked the board, administration and staff for working with them, and for opening their eyes as to how a school system functions.