SPARTA, NJ- The Sparta Board of Education made it official on Tuesday night, Matthew Beck will be the new superintendent beginning July 1, 2021.  The vote was 5-0 with Jen Grana, Kate Matteson and Christa Sorensen not present and Michael McGovern ineligible to vote because his wife is a district employee.

"As the superintendent I will work with the board, administrators, staff and community to build on Sparta's historical success and community pride as we work together to take our district to the next level," Beck said."I would also like to take a moment to recognize the great work that Mr. McQueeney has accomplished as he assumed the lead role of Sparta Township Schools through the most difficult time in the history of public education."

“It pleases me tonight that the board is going to approve Mr. Beck to be our superintendent," board of education member Robert Zywicki said. "The phrase that sticks out the most for me from our interview process was ‘the triangulation of assessment, instruction and curriculum as being the most important thing for student achievement.' This candidate understands curriculum and instruction and has passed QSAC."

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In his remarks Beck said "proactive communication will be paramount to our collaboration and achievement of our collective goals for the students of Sparta."  He said his transition into his role as Sparta's superintendent will include "various public stakeholder forums," to learn about the school community.

The agenda indicates Beck is being offered a three-year contract to run from June 1, 2021 through June 30, 2024 with a starting salary of $189,000. No other details about the contract were made public at this time. 

Beck has been the CSA in Fredon since 2018. He most recently signed a five-year contract in August 2020 for $154,754.  He was due to get a 1% raise in July to $156,202.

Prior to his position in Fredon, Beck was Superintendent of Andover Regional School District from July 2016 to September 2018.  He had been the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Programs and Adult Education at Sussex County Technical High School for a year having served at that school as Director of Curriculum and Instruction from 2012 to 2015.

Beck’s wife Krystal and sons Owen and Alex were at the high school for the meeting. Owen, fifth grade and Alex, third grade both said they play baseball, basketball and football and are “very proud,” of their dad. Krystal Beck is District Supervisor of Instructional Services for Social Studies in the Morris Hills Regional school district, according to the school’s website.

Director of Operations Michael Gregory, high school principal Ronnie Spring, middle school principal Frank Ciaburri and Alpine Elementary school principal Joe Leone were also in attendance to greet the new superintendent.

The Sparta School District officially separated with the previous superintendent Michael Rossi in December 31, 2020.  Rossi had been on a leave of absence since May, 26, 2020.  Patrick McQueeney was initially named acting Superintendent in May and has been interim Superintendent since January 1, 2021. McQueeney is also Sparta’s Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum.

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