RISE Group Seeks Resident Input on Search Committee for New School Superintendent


SUMMIT, NJ—Parents, teaching staff members and other stakeholders in Summit should be included in a search committee to find a replacement for superintendent of schools Nathan Parker, who will be retiring from the district next year, according to RISE (Residents Interested in Summit Education).

Juliet Eck of 26 Prospect Street, who will have three children in the Brayton School next year and is a founding member of RISE, told the board of education at its workshop session on Thursday that her group received support from 127 of its members in response to an email sent to group members asking members if they agreed with the idea of a more inclusive search committee.

While acknowledging that Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, the search firm contracted by the board to find superintendent candidates, and the board itself have had three forums at which teachers, parents and other stakeholders have given input, Eck said those who work with children every day in the schools and parents can bring added benefits as members of a search committee.

Sign Up for E-News

She added, “RISE members know that the board of education’s most important function is to choose the next superintendent. We are not here to request a change to that. We truly appreciate the effort and time you all put into the board of education voluntarily, and your work benefits all Summit’s public school children. What we do want to do is encourage a much richer, well-rounded choice by asking you to include input from people who are actively engaged with the education of our children. These people would serve on a search committee alongside you, and would do everything you do except make the final choice.”

Eck also said that the school board, an unelected body, could benefit from a broader representation of the community and diversity of opinion that would come from people with backgrounds in disciplines outside education. 

Resident Donna Gangi of 124 Prospect Street added that the board should hear more from the “people in the trenches who work with our children every day” to give the education board insight in may not have in deciding on a new superintendent.

On another matter, Lisa Hartman of 53 Essex Road said her children questioned why they often have substitute teachers and she asked whether there was a “cap” on the amount of time teachers took away from their classes to attend meetings and professional workshops.

District human resources director Kenneth Shulack replied that there was no formal cap on meetings and professional development. He noted that the contemplated introduction of a new mathematics program, instruction on the Common Core standards and outlining of new teaching methods for teachers beginning employment in the district do take time out of the classroom.

Shulack added that teachers are expected to log 100 professional development hours in addition to attending half-day development sessions sponsored by the district.

He pointed out, however, that principals involved in instruction for new teachers this year reduced those sessions from full-day to half-day sessions so the teachers could spend more time in the classroom.

Assistant superintendent of schools Julie Glazer added that, although there have been a number of visits to schools in other districts to gain background in connection with selection of a new mathematics program, study of the New Visions mathematics program is entering a phase where less time will be spent outside district classrooms.

Assistant superintendent for business Louis Pepe also noted that any teacher absenteeism is tracked in teacher records as part of their evaluation.

On another matter, in response to recent district reports on the state report card, parents Teresa Usme and Irvy Pinzon, her husband, said there seemed to be lower expectations among certain school staff members about students from certain groups in the community.

Usme said school counselors questioned why she did so well academically and the implication was made that someone with her son’s cultural background would be unable to handle some of the district’s more advanced classes.

Pinzon also said that the district should put more effort into designing programs that take into account mult-cultural differences in Hilltop City families. He did, however, praise the district for its Latino Family Literacy Project.

On another matter, Glazer reported that Paul Arilotta was expected to be named at the board’s April 24 meeting as interim director of human resources at $550 per diem, effective July 1. Arilotta, who has been serving as interim director of human resources in the Mamoroneck, NY Union Free School District, has previously served as a principal and superintendent of schools. He will temporarily replace Shulack, who is retiring.

In other action at Thursday’s meeting, the school approved contracts for seating in connection with the middle school auditorium renovation, ceiling plaster and canopy demolition in connection with Franklin School renovations, asbestos floor tile removal and related work in the middle school auditorium and classrooms and project monitoring services in connection with removal of asbestos-containing materials in connection with the high school boiler room project




TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Fri, May 25, 8:00 PM

17 Kent Place Boulevard, Summit

Open Mic Night

Arts & Entertainment


Sun, May 27, 8:00 AM

Summit Summer Farmers Market, Summit

Summit Farmers Market

Community Calendar Food & Drink Green Health & Wellness


Thu, May 31, 11:30 AM

Canoe Brook Country Club, Summit

Fortnightly Club Scholarship Luncheon

Food & Drink Giving Back

Summit Police Blotter

May 17, 2018

4/24 - At 0728 hours a report was taken for a theft of two (2) sandwiches from a business on Morris Avenue. The manager reported that at approximately 0330 hours a male entered the business and removed two sandwiches from a refrigerated case. After doing so, he exited the store without paying for them. The male suspect was described as Hispanic, approximately 6’0”wearing a blue/gray ...

Video: Point View's Petrides Looks at Trade Truce Sector Beneficiaries, Opportunities

May 24, 2018

Point View Wealth Management's Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, John Petrides, on CNBC's Nightly Business Report (interview starts at 5:05 mark) discussing stocks to buy based on easing trade tensions with China.

For more than 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been working with families in Summit and beyond, ...

Video: Point View's Dietze Reviews Investment Strategies as Trade Tensions with China Calm

Point View Wealth Management's Founder, President and Chief Investment Strategist, David Dietze, live on FOX Business on investment strategies in the wake of the thawing of Chinese trade tensions.

For more than 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been working with families in Summit and beyond, providing customized portfolio ...

Stocks Can Rise in a Rising Interest Rate Environment

Investors remain concerned about the potential impact of higher interest rates on stocks. In their most recently released minutes, the Federal Reserve Open Markets Committee indicated the US economy is on solid footing and the economic conditions warrant continued gradual increasing of interest rates. This set off a sale in the stock and bond markets as investors began pricing in a fourth ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!


SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

A Royal Pain

I went to a big wedding over the weekend.  It was in England.

I like to think I was invited, but according to the Royal Guards and the Thames Valley Police I was not.  But more about that later.

You see, not too long ago I received an evite addressed to me from H&  Curiously, it was in my spam folder with a warning message. For an evite it was pretty ...