Plainfield Candidate for Interim Superintendent Meets the Public; Listen to Full Presentation

Ronald E. Bolandi, candidate for Interim Superintendent, addresses a crowd at Plainfield High School Credits: Jennifer Popper
Board President Richard Wyatt introduced Ronald Bolandi Credits: Jennifer Popper
Ronald Bolandi Credits: Jennifer Popper
Credits: Jennifer Popper
Credits: Jennifer Popper

PLAINFIELD, NJ - Candidate for Interim Superintendent Ronald E. Bolandi presented to a crowd filled with residents, parents, teachers and administrators at Plainfield High School on Tuesday evening.

“My job tonight is to give you an understanding of who I am," Bolandi said.

He added, "I’ve been in urban, suburban, and semi-urban school districts. I was next door in Piscataway for almost seven years.  I was an assistant superintendent in Middlesex for nine years; I did an interim in Edison just recently about four years ago, and I just finished an interim in Montclair for two years.  So I’ve been around and I have a wealth of experience that I want to bring to you.  Tonight my job is to give you an idea of who I am.”

Sign Up for E-News

He then reviewed some of the potential issues facing the district, and said, “it’s important for you to know that the problems that you have, or the issues you have, are things that I’ve already dealt with in my career successfully.”

"Plainfield is not a school district where you learn on the job,” he added.

"You know, I had an opportunity to read what your mayor said in his address on the regovernization night and I was really pleased to see a lot of his focus of his administration was on education.  Making the system better. Because this system has got to be better.  Because the only way you stop kids from going to charter schools, or from losing kids, is if you have a quality system.  Because you’ve got to stop the bleeding.  And right now we’re bleeding.  And I hope I’m here to stop that bleeding, and give you ways to stop it.  But we have to recognize that, that we have issues that we have to deal with; we have to rally around together to work together, it can’t be us against them.  That won’t work."


Bolandi ran through a list of potential problems facing the district, including absenteeism, communication, security, ESL programs, budget shortfalls, and more.  Summarizing, he said, "but it's not insurmountable."

He noted that all questions coming into the district should be answered within 48 hours.

Bolandi cited the high numbers of ESL students, saying that the district needs to have the tools and programs on hand for them that are conducive to learning, and that allows them to succeed.  He said he has an extensive background in bilingual ESL education.

He cited that $25M of the district's budget is spent on charter schools; that's almost 13% of the operating budget, he added.  "You've got to mirror what they do," noting, as one example, after care programs.

Bolandi also talked about budget deficit rumors of up to a $7MM shortfall.  His philosophy?  "I will never cut the classroom.  I will never cut education supplies.  Everything else is fair game."

When Bolandi said, "assessment should never be used for evaluation of staff, or pit one building against another" he received applause.  "What assessment is for is to see where your children are."

He further added that egos should be put on the top shelf, asked why there aren't more AP classes, and said there shouldn't be fifteen school buildings doing fifteen different things.  And he stressed that the excuse of kids from poverty can't learn is not an acceptable argument.

The public had the opportunity to ask questions.  David Graves took the microphone first, asking how long it would take to identify a problem school, with Bolandi responding no more than six months. 

Parent Sam Cooper wanted to know what Bolandi would do about problem people who are just being moved around within the district.  Bolandi replied, "as far as moving people around, I don't do that."  He continued, "if they're not doing the job, you move them out."

School Board member John Campbell asked the last question of the night.  Bolandi replied to one of Campbell's questions, "no, you're not ready to hire a Superintendent yet.  I think the district's got to be stable first." 

Couldn't make it?  You can listen to the full presentation, along with his interaction with attendees, here. is Plainfield's free online daily newspaper for Plainfield, NJ news. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook, Twitter @PlainfieldTAP, and on Instagram @tapintoplainfield for all of your Plainfield local news.

Download the free TAPinto App for iPhone or Android.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Sat, July 21, 10:00 AM

Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield

Silent Party

Wed, July 25, 7:00 PM

Washington Park, Dunellen

Free Music in the Park | Princesa - Pop / Latin

Arts & Entertainment

Shakespeare in the Park Returns to Union County Sunday, July 22

July 20, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce the return of Shakespeare in the Park this weekend. The performance will be presented on Sunday, July 22 at 12:30 p.m. at Cedar Brook Park in Plainfield.

The Shrew Mechanicals Troupe from The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will present an hour long performance of “Shakespeare Gumbo,” a stirring collection of ...

Plainfield BOE Member on Naming of the New School

July 12, 2018

On Tuesday, June 19, 2018 – I, Carmencita Pile, an elected Plainfield School Board member presented this during the Plainfield School Board monthly business meeting to the public and to the board after being recognized by Plainfield School Board President Mr. Richard Wyatt.

On Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 12:10PM an email was sent from the Plainfield School District's Postmaster that ...

Residents Taking Action Against White Supremacist Fliers Found Around Bridgewater, Bedminster, Other Local Areas

July 17, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Residents of Bridgewater, Somerville, Morristown and surrounding communities are mobilizing for action after they found posters around town promoting Identity Evropa, which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has labeled a white supremacist group.

According to Bridgewater resident Stacey Friedlander, a member of the “Not In Our Town – Bridgewater/Raritan” ...

La Guerra contra los Inmigrantes- Cuando es Demasiado?

July 15, 2018

"Primero, vinieron por los comunistas, y yo no hable- por que no era comunista.

Después, vinieron por los sindicalistas, y yo no hable- por que no era sindicalista.

Después, vinieron por los judíos, y yo no hable- por que no era judío. 

Después, vinieron por mí- y no hubo nadie para hablar por mí."

Este dicho por el ...

Mayor Mapp:  El Programa de Verano de los Jóvenes

El lunes, 9 de julio, nuevas caras alumbraran las oficinas de la Alcaldía. Nuestro Programa de Verano de los Jóvenes por fin comienza, y otra vez los empleados tendrán la oportunidad de ser mentores de un nuevo grupo de jóvenes.

El Programa de Verano de los Jóvenes corre por seis semanas todos los años y les da la oportunidad de empleo y experiencia a ...

Featured Business: Studio 15 Young Plainfield Entrepreneurs Expand Business Once More

“What you see behind me is a life-changing project for myself that I have been working on since January 2017, nearly two years, discreetly; not sharing much about it with anybody. I've had plenty of reasons to give up on this truck; I purchased it pretty much from the ground up from Rashine Mobile, another local city entrepreneur. The truck had no steering column, no computer; it ...

People I've Known and Been: Little by Little by Rich Little

People I've Known and Been: Little by Little by Rich Little (Dog Ear Publishing, 2015)


Rich Little is a national treasure; a living encyclopedia of movie stars, comedians, and former presidents all wrapped into one dynamic package. Recently, my husband and I had the good fortune to see Little perform at the Tropicana in Las Vegas, where he has been doing his uncanny ...

Lucia, Lucia by Adriani Trigiani

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2003)


If a summer romance novel is what you are craving to read as you sit by the pool or beach, Adriana Trigiani's Lucia, Lucia is a perfect choice. Set in 1950 New York City, the novel is about a young woman, Lucia Sartori, who is determined to have a career and be able to support herself, an unusual choice for a girl who was ...

The Anatomy of Escape by Mike Blue

The Anatomy of Escape: An Unconventional Adventure by Mike Blue (Available on Amazon)


Imagine that you could just say, “Chuck it,” and walk away from the bonds that keep you tied to what Mike Blue, author of The Anatomy of Escape: An Unconventional Adventure, defines as the restrictive Work-Consume-Die cycle. To most of us, becoming what Blue terms “a ...

The Death of Koko the Gorilla

Koko's Kitten, Koko's Story, The Eduction of Koko all by Dr. Francine Patterson


Last night when I heard about the death of Koko, the lowland gorilla who was educated to communicate through American Sign Language by Dr. Francine Patterson, I went numb with grief. I have followed the life of Koko, her two gorilla companions, Michael and Ndume, as well as Dr. Patterson for forty ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)


A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...

When the Men Go Off to War by Victoria Kelly

When the Men Go Off to War by Victoria Kelly (Naval Institute Press, 2015)

Victoria Kelly's first published volume of poetry, When the Men Go Off to War, is a wonder in that poems can be written so beautifully about the subject of war. Each poem is a jewel, polished and colorful, glittering with elegant imagery, and rich in emotional wallop. The book, divided into three sections, ...