SOUTH ORANGE AND MAPLEWOOD, NJ - John J. Ramos, Sr., Superintendent of the South Orange Maplewood School District (SOMSD), announced his resignation in an email to the community on Monday, May 22. Ramos stated that he is "retiring from service in New Jersey."

Ramos has been superintendent of the SOMSD since August 1, 2015. He was appointed superintendent by unanimous vote by the SOMSD Board of Education. Before coming to the SOMSD, Ramos was the CEO/Principal of the Middle East International School in Doha, Qatar.

The resignation letter from Ramos is as follows:

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Dear SOMSD Community:

I have tendered my resignation to the Board of Education, effective August 24, 2017, and will be retiring from service in New Jersey.  As a family man, it has been particularly difficult to be out my home for what is now nearly 5 years.  That reality can take its toll...and has.  It is time to get back home.

I thank you for your ongoing support and commitment.  We have good work to celebrate; I am proud of what we have accomplished in our two years together.  Our accomplishments have included the development of an organically developed district blueprint (Strategic Plan) to guide work intended to meet the present and future needs of our children and young adults.  Moreover, deliverables have included the development and passage of an aggressive Access and Equity policy with corresponding regulations and activities.

This work has included giving attention to mindset, cultural competency, social compacts, improved service delivery, significant recruitment and hiring, communications technology and broad community engagement.  For example, our Education Summit in November 2015 included 1,500 participants representing all stakeholders, including taxpayers with no children in the system.  Also, we have launched the important efforts of website redesign as well as the building utilization/redistricting study.  In addition, the encroaching fiscal cliff has required other innovative work around the generation of both efficiencies and focused spending, through zero-based budgeting, as well as new revenue.

While there will always be much to do, we have established a critical foundation and collaboratively built architecture for the work to build upon.  I am confident that you will continue to pursue this district’s mission to educate ALL children so that they are prepared for a world we have yet to imagine.

Thank you for extending to me the honor to serve the SOMSD.  I am grateful to you and all the people of these two cooperating towns.  I am grateful, too, to the many outstanding professionals with whom I had the chance to work and to the students who we serve each day.  

You are on the verge of realizing a model worthy of replication.  I wish you every good fortune in that journey.

John J. Ramos, Sr., Ed.D.