SPARTA, NJ- The Sparta Board of Education voted unanimously to approve a leave of absence for Superintendent Michael Rossi “for personal reasons, until further notice,” at the special meeting held via Google on Tuesday night.

The leave is effective immediately according to board president Kim Bragg.

The resolution was moved by board member Kurt Morris and seconded by board vice president Jen Grana.  There was no discussion by board members prior to the 8-0 vote.  Board member Kylen Anderson was not in the meeting. 

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The board members also approved moving Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Staff Development Patrick Mc Queeney to acting Superintendent. After the vote Bragg told McQueeney the board members "wish you all the best."

McQueeney will receive $200 per day in addition to his current contracted rate of pay Bragg said. The 2018-2019 contract posted on the district website for McQueeney reflects an annual salary of $146,000 or $521.43 per day.  

The most recent contract gave Rossi $685.71 per day with the opportunity for a bonus up to $25,000. That would have made his per diem up to $774.99. He was due to get a salary increase of up to 2% on July 1, 2020 according to his contract.  He will continue to be paid during his leave.

The agenda for the meeting previously scheduled for last Friday, had a single item, in addition to public comment.  The specific resolution, however, was not available prior to the meeting.

According to Bragg, board of education members have not discussed the process they will use to fill the Superintendent position, because the position is currently held by Dr. Rossi and there is no position to fill."

There was no discussion about any staffing changes to the office of curriculum and staff development or if McQueeney will cover both positions temporarily.  

Sparta Business Administrator/Board Secretary Pam Hinman gave her resignation at the April 20 board of education meeting, effective June 30.  That position will be filled by an interim, Ron Smith, until a full time business administrator has been selected.  The board of education has not explained the process by which they will fill the business administrator vacancy either.

The next board of education meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 28 at 7:30 p.m. via Google Hangout.  The meeting information posted on the meeting agenda is: