GLEN ROCK - The Board of Education is negotiating with former Fair Lawn Superintendent of Schools Bruce Watson for its interim superintendent position.
Superintendent Dr. Paula Valenti's announcement of her resignation from the Glen Rock district on April 3 spurred the search for a new administrator.
On April 17, the board interviewed Watson in executive session and then announced in public it was prepared to negotiate.
Currently, Watson is superintendent for the Onteora school district in Boiceville, NY, an approximate two-hour commute one-way from his Bergen County home. He resigned from the position just days before learning of the Glen Rock opening, he said in a telephone interview today.
Watson signed a contract with the Onteora district in May 2016 for 3 years at an annual salary of $180,000.
The veteran educator and administrator spent 15 years as Fair Lawn's superintendent. Before that he was Fair Lawn's business administrator, a high school teacher and athletics coach.
During his last year in Fair Lawn, Watson earned $167,500 annually. The district services approximately 5,000 students.
The daily stipend for the interim position, according to state mandate, is $605 per day for a district the size of Glen Rock, approximately 2,300 students. Under these rules, if the administrator does not work, he does not receive pay or benefits.
"If this works out, I'll continue to do what I truly love to do," he said. "Glen Rock is clearly a district focused on the kids. They have an active board."
Watson said the job of an interim superintendent is to pave the way for someone new.
"During that year or so, the board learns how to support an incoming superintendent, one that will stay, hopefully, for the long term," he said.
Valenti began her tenure in Glen Rock in 2013. She previously served as principal of Emerson Jr.-Sr. High School. She was the leading advocate for Glen Rock's half-day Kindergarten to all-day Kindergarten in 2015.
In 2016, Valenti earned $157,500 annually. The district enrollment for pre-kindergarten through grade 12 is 2,300.
State pay caps for superintendents are linked to the pupil enrollment of a school district as follows: 0-250, $125,000; 251 –750, $135,000; 751–1,500, $145,000; 1,501–3,000, $155,000; 3,001–6,500, $165,000; and 6,501–10,000, $175,000.
Superintendents may be eligible for merit pay up to 15 percent of their base pay if specified goals are met annually, as agreed upon between the board and the superintendent.