Category Archives: Karen Bilbao

A game of musical chairs for Middletown schools superintendent position

Around and round they go, where they’ll stop nobody knows….

Kevin Penton of the Asbury Park Press pretty much asks that in his column appearing online today, pertaining to the Middletown Board of Education’s search for a new schools superintendent.

Since January the district has had three superintendents, Karen Bilboa, Thomas Pagano and currently Pat Houston, with a possibility of a fourth before the end of the current calendar year. Will the Board of Education ever find a qualified and competent person willing to take the job of school superintendent when that person knows that he or she will need to work with a domineering and as some others have suggested, incompetent board?

As some would say “time will tell”, but what do you all say?

MIDDLETOWN — If the Board of Education finds a permanent replacement for Karen Bilbao before the end of the year, the township’s school district will have had at least four different superintendents in 2011.

Since Bilbao’s departure in January, two others have taken her position on an interim basis. The latest is Pat Houston, a 37-year veteran of the district who came out of retirement to serve as superintendent through Oct. 31.

Houston, who was hired last month, earns $600 a day but receives no personal or vacation days and no health benefits, said Christopher Parton, the board’s attorney. Houston is eligible for one sick day a month, Parton said.

Houston replaced Thomas Pagano, who resigned on July 7 for health reasons, said Parton, who noted that the board still hopes to hire a superintendent this year.

“The process is ongoing,” he said.

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, Karen Bilbao, Middletown Board of Education, school superintendent

>Middletown School Board Meeting Was Uneventful But Superintendent Bilbao Allowed To Leave Early

>I was unable to attend last night’s Middletown Board of Education meeting even though I had wanted to very much. I had a conflict in my schedule that just didn’t allow me the time to make it. I was curious if anything would be mentioned about the rumoured BOE member, that has allegedly been ordered removed from the board by the State School Ethics Commission. Luckily though, I did have someone there who was able to report back to me on what happened.

From what I was told, it was a quiet and otherwise uneventful meeting that finished up early, with the big news of the night being that the BOE agreed to allow School Superintendent Karen Bilbao to leave her position within the district early. Bilbao is contractually obligated to stay on the job for 120 days after handing in her resignation, which she handed in on December 1st, but the school board waived that requirement and will allow her to leave on February 1st.
I was told that no real discussions took place at this meeting, on who would replaced Bilbao as Superintendent. As I see it, this could be a problem that I hope doesn’t turn out to be something more significant.
With MTEA Union contract talks looming and the new 2% cap on property taxes that will kick in starting January 1st, it will be important to have some one who is experienced and knowledgeable leading the school district and formulation this years upcoming budget. At the moment there doesn’t seem to be anyone currently capable of handling this.
I have heard from several people that the likely candidate to replace Karen Bilbao as Superintendent of Schools is James Stefankiewicz, the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum due to ties that he has within the Monmouth County Department of Education.
Whoever the new Superintendent is I hope that they are in place relatively soon, but only after a well thought out and intensive search for the best possible candidate. The upcoming year will be a challenging one for the Middletown school district and a truly qualified individual is needed to lead it.


Filed under Karen Bilbao, Middletown Board of Education, MTEA, NJ School Ethics Commission, resignation, retirement, school budgets

>APP: Middletown superintendent says she’s not leaving

>According to the article below that has been recently posted on the Asbury Park Press website, it seems that Karen Bilbao is denying that she has resigned as Middletown School Superintendent.

Bilbao blames the shoolyard rumors on an announcement made by board attorney Christopher Parton who at the end of the public portion of Wednesday nights school board meeting announced that board was entering into executive session to discuss the Superintendent’s contract. She thinks that those in attendance may have gotten the wrong impression from this announcement and jumped to the conclusion that she was leaving.

This very well could be so, I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt. However when I reached out to third party contacts they reported back that one board member confirmed the resignation, while a second board member would neither confirm nor deny it.

Being that this all happened during executive session, the board members were very upset that this news leaked out.

Whatever the true story is, I hope that it all works out for the best in the end. If Bilbao is staying as Superintendent, she has a lot of hard work ahead of her putting a budget together that will be in compliance with the new mandated 2% state cap, while trying to oversee contract negotiations with the teacher’s union in the next couple of months that could turn ugly (Which I certainly hope doesn’t turn out to te the case). It wont be easy.

If she is leaving, then I wish her all the best as she either enters into a new job position or into retirement to take advantage of current benefits before the new pension/benefits rules kick in, that have cause so many teacher and administrator to retire before they had planned to. She has performed admirably in her duties since becoming Middletown’s Superintendent, she deserve better than what she has had to put up with over the past year.

MIDDLETOWN — Superintendent of schools Karen Bilbao says she is not leaving her post in the public school district.

Following a Nov. 17 board of education meeting, it was widely rumored that Bilbao resigned her position in executive session that night.

On Friday afternoon, Bilbao said that she had heard the rumors and that they were not true.

Her rumored departure may have stemmed from an announcement by the board attorney at the end of the Nov. 17 public meeting.

“It seems to be that Chris Parton at the end of the meeting announced that the board was going into executive session (to discuss) the superintendent’s contract,” she said.

From there, someone may have “jumped to conclusions” that she resigned, Bilbao said.

Bilbao has been superintendent of schools since 2008 and served as interim superintendent from 2006 to 2008.

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Filed under Asbury Park Press, Karen Bilbao, Middletown Board of Education, resignation, retirement, rumors, Superintendent Karen Bilbao

MiddletownMike Will Be Streaming Live President Obama’s Address to Students Beginning @ Noon

Starting at Noon today President Obama will be speaking to tens of thousands of students across the United States. He will be addressing students form Kindergarten thru 12Th grade and will talk about the importance of staying in school and getting a good education.

Being that Middletown’s Superintendent of Schools, Karen Bilbao, has decided that the President’s address is not significant enough for our school children to hear, I will be streaming the feed live here on the MiddletownMike blog.
Log on at 11:55 to see and hear for yourselves, what the president has to say to the nation’s children.


Filed under Address to Students, Karen Bilbao, Middletown, Middletown Mike, President Obama