LIVINGSTON, NJ – After two years of service to the Livingston Public Schools (LPS) district, Superintendent Christina Steffner tendered her resignation on Wednesday during the Livingston Board of Education (LBOE) meeting. Members of the LBOE voted 3-2 in favor of approving her resignation, effective on July 31, 2018.
Although the resignation was added as an agenda item only a few hours before the meeting began, word had quickly spread and Steffner was able to give her prepared farewell address to a standing-room-only crowd. She said that it was “with a great deal of thought and very mixed emotions” that she announced her resignation.
“I am very proud of the work that we have accomplished together—the processes, the systems and the structures we’ve put in place—that I believe will serve to continue the excellence that is known as Livingston,” said Steffner. “I am incredibly grateful to have served as the superintendent of this exceptional district. I am grateful for the exceptional students—those that are a source of pride for us by what they do in the classroom and certainly how they live their lives outside of the classroom. I am grateful to the community and the parents who value education in this community who are supportive and involved.”
Steffner added that she has enjoyed working with the township’s elected officials, who “coordinate efforts and try to share services with us and do a great job,” she said. She also acknowledged the members of the Livingston Police Department, including newly appointed chief Gary Marshuetz and Kevin Mullaney of the Community Policing Unit, for their constant support.
“I’m grateful to the parents who volunteer their time and support to augment what we do and give of their time, members of the Livingston Education Foundation and all the parent-teacher organizations that work so hard to try and ensure that all of our students receive a great education,” said Steffner. “I’m especially grateful for the support of the PT Council. They have been a great body of parents to work for and they work really hard to make sure that the voices of parents are heard and that we take that into consideration when we make our decisions.”
Steffner also thanked the district’s support staff, including the custodians and maintenance crew, who make the facilities “unbelievably clean and well kept,” as well as secretaries, assistants, managers, communications officers, security officers, technicians, playground and classroom aides and the central office staff, who “work tirelessly behind the scenes to make everything come together.”
In acknowledging the LPS staff members, Steffner said that they are “second to none” in Livingston, and added that it was a privilege to work with the Livingston Education Association.
“I can say that this is my fifth district and it has been an absolute pleasure to work with this staff because not only do they work hard—the teachers, the counselors, the child study team, the specialists—to make sure that our children get the best education, they truly care about your children,” she said.
“I’m especially grateful to have shared the leadership of this amazing district with this leadership team. The supervisors, the principals, the directors and my cabinet–Steve (Robinson), Lisa (Capone-Steiger), Sue (Burman), Tom (Douglas) and, of course, Toni (McLaughlin). I have no words to express how grateful I am. It has been my privilege and I know that I leave this district in good hands. I wish you all well.”
Board members Samantha Messer and George Shen voted against approving Steffner’s resignation, while LBOE President Pamela Chirls, Vice President Charles “Buddy” August and member Ronnie Konner voted in favor of the resolution.
More information on this development, including why there was a split decision among board members and how the public reacted to this news, will be released over the next few days.