SPARTA, NJ – The Sparta Board of Education approved three new positions at the special meeting on Thursday night in the high school cafeteria: a Mathematics Supervisor for sixth through 12th grade, a Director of Operations and a Director of Student Support Services.

Board member Kylen Anderson and board vice president Jen Grana voted against the two resolutions for the new positions.  Board member Kate Matteson voted against the new Director of Operations position, supporting the mathematics supervisor and Director of Student Support Services.  Board President Kim Bragg and board members Niamh Grano, Joanne Hoover, Kurt Morris and Robert Zywicki all supported the new positions. 

Several people at the meeting, including the President of the Sparta Education Association Susan Sawey, district parents and residents, spoke out against the new positions.  Most said they were concerned about the added cost when it was uncertain how much of a financial burden reopening the schools will be.

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Prior to the meeting, the Mathematics Supervisor position covered pre-kindergarten through grade 12.  The new position revisits a former alignment as well as mirrors the English Language Arts supervisor positions.

The current pre-kindergarten through 12 Mathematics Supervisor Katie Arbolino was approved to be the pre-kindergarten through fifth grade Mathematics Supervisor.  The sixth through 12th grade supervisor has not yet been announced.

The board members approved the appointment of Michael Gregory to the new Directors of Operations position.  Gregory is currently the middle school principal.

Answering a question from a parent, acting Superintendent Patrick McQueeney said the Director of Student Services must be advertised because the position required an administrator or chief school administrator certification.  McQueeney said he could reassign Gregory to the new Director of Operations position because Gregory already has the required certification.

The positions were not budgeted but will be coming from budgeted funds, McQueeney said, responding to questions from the public.  McQueeney explained some of the money to pay for the new staffing will come from having cancelled the contract with Cinergistic.  He estimated those savings to be  approximately $175,000.

The other funds will come from different areas of the budget, McQueeney said.

The board unanimously approved the other agenda items, appointing Julie Richman to replace Lillian Farrell as the Sparta Middle School nurse.  The Sparta High School fall season coaches and assistant coaches were also approved.

The next board of education meeting has been rescheduled to Thursday, July 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the Sparta High School cafeteria.

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