SPARTA, NJ — Sparta Board of Education approved the new Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Staff Development at the June meeting on Monday night. Sparta resident Patrick McQueeney replaces Dr. Daniel Johnson who left Sparta to take the superintendent position in Butler.  

McQueeney is currently the principal at Willow Grove Elementary School in Superintendent Dr. Michael Rossi’s hometown of Hackettstown. 

McQueeney said he has previously served as vice principal in high schools in Hawthorne and Randolph. He said he was a physics and chemistry teacher at Mount Olive High School and Lenape Valley High School.

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According to Rossi, McQueeny was selected after a “very, very comprehensive search,” that involved “20 people on the committee.” A request for details of who was on the committee was denied by Rossi because he wanted "to keep the particulars vested" since it was a "confidential process."

In a previous interview Rossi said, "There are a lot of people interested in coming to Sparta and Assistant Superintendent is no different. We have a strong applicant pool."

At the meeting Rossi said the individuals on the committee separately “reviewed, rated and ranked resumes” choosing “a larger group for the first round,” of interviews. The committee members developed questions and a rating system for the first round, according to Rossi.

A few candidates moved to the second round at which they “were asked to prepare a presentation for the new teacher orientation,” which “is a duty of the assistant superintendent,” Rossi said. The candidates were also asked to give an “impromptu writing assignment based on an actual event.”

The principals and supervisors met with the finalists, Rossi said. "Every committee member [had] an equal voice, including me," Rossi said in a previous interview.

The last four people in the top curriculum position have had a doctoral degree, whether or not they took the title of assistant superintendent. The posting for the job said “doctorate preferred.”

McQueeney said he has his MBA from Centenary University, his master’s degree in Manufacturing Engineering from Rutgers University and his bachelor’s degree in Physical Science from Rowan University. 

According to the board of education’s June agenda, the starting salary for McQueeney is $146,000. He is due to start in Sparta the second week of July.