HOLMDEL, NJ - With an apparent click of the Staples 'That Was Easy' button, the Holmdel Board of Education unanimously endorsed and approved a recommendation from the Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Robert McGarry, to rotate three of four principals in the Holmdel School System. The Principal of the Indian Hill School, Lisa Marino, will remain the same.
Effective next week, the High School will be led by Brian Schillaci (formerly of Village School). The Village School will be led by Art Howard (formerly of William R. Satz School) and the Satz School will be led by William Loughran (formerly of Holmdel High School). The meeting was mainly full of teachers, mostly wearing blue colored shirts. Parents were also in attendance.
Local resident, Roseanne Secondido asked, "I would like a little bit of transparency as to why...these are pretty drastic changes going on. Why they are occurring and how they are actually going to benefit my children...as a parent I am wondering why these changes are being made and why are they so drastic?" Dr. McGarry replied, referencing his prior statement, "My hope for all of our principals is looking at things differently... and seeing things and possibilities that perhaps the principals currently in those roles are not seeing in helping us with the vision of moving the district forward."
In a letter to parents earlier in the week, Dr. McGarry stated, in part:
"It is widely recognized that growth comes when individuals step outside of their comfort zone and accept new challenges. As an educator, I have seen firsthand the positive impact that this can have on students as well as the professionals who work with them. I am sure that many of you have experienced this in your own lives or in your careers.
Working collaboratively with our Board of Education, it is my responsibility to ensure our great school district continues to grow and evolve. In keeping with our strategic vision of continuing to innovate so that we can continue to elevate our students, I have determined that we are at a moment when innovation must come from within."
Board President Flynn said, "As soon as the message did go out we did receive comments from parents of concern and also did received overwhelming comments of praise that the Superintendent is taking on and implementing such a change - so I think it runs the gamut."
Beth Semanchik, Vice President of the HTEA expressed concerns on the timing. She referenced the ongoing referendum project and sought assurances from the Superintendent that the schools will be ready in time for the start of the school. McGarry replied, "We have a highly competent staff of administrators...and the transition will be a smooth one for everyone".
Said former Holmdel High School Principal William Loughran in an email to parents, "I have every confidence that Mr. Schillaci will be a great fit for the high school and that you will enjoy his leadership immensely. For my part, I will miss the students, staff and parents of the high school very much, and am very excited to begin my new assignment at Satz."
In other business, according to a news release, the Board:
Accepted a $92,707 increase is state aid and designated it to the assigned fund balance for use in the 2019/2020 school year.
Accepted the Superintendent’s Report during which Dr. McGarry focused on the rationale behind administrative changes for the new school year.
Adopted as set of new instructional resources including new texts for high school Biology students and Advanced Placement Economics courses, and the Discovery Education Science Techbook for Grades 6-8. A Techbook is a digital science textbook that changes the way students and teachers will experience real-world science phenomena,
Approved an Agreement with the Holmdel Township Administrators’ Association (HTAA) through June, 2020, The HTAA is the organization that represents the district’s Principals, Assistant Principals, Supervisors and Directors.
Appointed Spring 2019 Athletic Coaches and other 2018/2019 Advisors for positions to support the district’s co=curricular programs and shared and discussed reports from several board committees.
The Holmdel Board of Education typically meets on the last Wednesday of the month. Go to http://www.holmdelschools.org for more information.