Dr. Anthony Cavanna
Credits: Cynthia Cumming
WEST ORANGE, NJ - Dr. Anthony Cavanna, West Orange superintendent, was placed on paid administrative leave yesterday in a 15-minute, specially called meeting of the Board of Education. The board also voted not to renew his contract, which expires next June.
In a statement released by Laura Lab, board president, after yesterday's meeting, it was noted that:
"The Board announces that Dr. Anthony Cavanna has been placed on a paid administrative leave. During the pendency of Dr. Cavanna's leave, Dr. Donna Rando will serve as the District's Acting Superintendent of Schools. We expect no interruption to the District's commitment to serving the needs of the children of West Orange."
The board voted 5-0 to place Cavanna on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. The specifics were not disclosed as it pertains to "matters of personnel." In a phone call from The Alternative Press to the Essex County Acting Superintendent's office, Dr. Lawrence Feinsod, it was advised that the decision to place Cavanna on leave came from the district. It remains unclear who is investigating the "district concerns" as presented by Lab at yesterday's meeting. The board also voted 5-0 not to renew his contract after next year.
Though Rando has been appointed as acting superintendent, should Cavanna not return, the district will have to consider an interim superintendent until a new superintendent is hired. Governor Chris Christie's new salary cap of $175,000 for newly hired superintendents would now be in place.
The next regularly scheduled board meeting is Monday, July 23, at 8 p.m., at the Central Office, where it is expected that the board will vote to hire Hayden Moore as the new principal of West Orange High School.