LIVINGSTON, NJ - The Summit Public School District's central office will soon have not one, but two vacancies. with the news that longtime employee Dr. Matthew Block -- currently the District's Human Resources Director, Chief Talent Officer, District Affirmative Action Officer and former Principal at Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School -- has accepted the position of Superintendent for the Livingston Public Schools.
In addition, Michelle Cebula -- presently Assistant Director of Education for the Summit Public Schools -- is departing to accept the role as Principal of Collins Elementary School.
Block's hire is contingent on a Livingston Board of Education (LBOE) vote scheduled for May 20.
Reached by TAPinto Summit, Summit Superintendent of Schools June Chang stated in via e-mail, "Although not official, I am excited and happy for Dr. Matt Block. He has been a vital part of the Summit Public Schools and a trusted member of my cabinet. Dr. Block and Michelle Cebula's presence will be missed, and the news is bittersweet. But when you have talented people moving up in their careers and expanding Summit's footprint, you are proud and excited for them. We wish Matt and Michelle all the best as they take on the next chapter of their careers. We are prepared for our next steps and the search for their replacements is underway."
According to reporting from TAPinto Livingston, which cited the Livingston Board of Education announcement, Block is scheduled to "visit the district to meet with various stakeholder groups" on Thursday. Ahead of the May 20 vote, the LBOE is hosting a meet-and-greet event that evening from 5:30 - 7 p.m. at Heritage Middle School.
"We spent about 10 months during the search working together, trying to find the very best candidate who could really bring the community together," said LBOE member Pamela Chirls. "We found someone who has the integrity that we were hoping for and the intelligence we see immediately and also the ability to work with a very diverse community, and it's very clear he is the person to do that."
“The group is delighted with our choice," said LBOE Vice President Ronnie Ferber Konner. “Every reference we checked said this was a great thing for Livingston. Comments that were shared described how well he works together with not only administrators, but teachers, parent and families, so we're looking forward to a long association together and we look forward to all of you having the opportunity to meet him.”
Block was named the Summit District's head of Human Resources in July of 2015 after serving as the Summit Middle School's principal since 2008. Prior to coming to Summit, Block served as Assistant Principal at Edison Intermediate School in Westfield, and then as the Principal of East Hanover Middle School. He began his career as a social studies teacher.
Cebula was named to newly created Assistant Director of Education for the district, K-12. just over one year ago. She joined Summit Public Schools in January of 2017 as an assistant principal at Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School specializing in curriculum and instruction.