Category Archives: school superintendent

Middletown Board of Education Gets Their Man; George Lured Away From Hazlet

In a press release issued by the Middletown Township Board of Education earlier today, it was announce that the board of education finally found their new Superintendent of Schools.

The Middletown Board of Education was successful in luring Hazlet’s current school superintendent William George away to take over the Middletown school system.

According to his terms of employment contract William George will be compensated handsomely for agreeing to come to Middletown. George will be paid the equivalent of $187,500 a year for the next 4 years, 9 months of the contract length.

In order to pay Mr. George such a large sum of cash, Middletown needed to get the approval of the Commissioner of Education in order to exceed the cap on Superintendent salaries that Governor Christies implemented earlier this year, as I stated in a previous post .

I hope all works out well for Mr. George when he finally takes over the reigns of Middletown School system sometime in December ( he must give Hazlet 60days notice before taking over in Middletown). God knows that the school system needs some stability to bring back a little credibility after such a turbulent year thus far that has seen 3 Board of Education members resign there positions and 4 Superintendent presided over the school system by the time George takes over.

Middletown Patch has posted William George’s resignation letter to the Hazlet Board of Education, it’s interesting and worth the read for anyone that wants to know a little bit about Mr. George and his accomplishments in Hazlet.

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Update: The Independent also has an article published today on the hiring of William George as Middletown New School SuperIntendent – check it out

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Filed under Hazlet NJ, Middletown Board of Education, Middletown Patch, school superintendent, the Independent, William George

Middletown Board Of Education Meeting Tonight – What You will Hear and Not Hear

Tonight’s Middletown Board of Education meeting that will take place at High School North @ 7pm will be interesting for a few of reasons that you will and won’t hear about.

To open up the meeting there will be a presentation by Birdsall Engineering to the Board by Birdsall on a proposed district solar project that will involve several school site. It should be interesting but don’t expect too much information if this presentation by Birdsall turns out to be anything like the one presented at Town Hall a few months a go. That presentation left a lot to be desired.
Attendees to the meeting will also hear that the resignation of BoE member John Macrae has also been accepted which should lead to in the not to distant future, an announcement on a new search (or appointment) for someone to fill his position on the board that he vacated.
What you won’t hear tonight are many details about the appointment of a new Superintendent to take over from interim superintendent Pat Houston, who resigned last month and will be allowed to leave as of September 26th, unless of course something is dropped into the agenda at the last minute.
Word out of Hazlet though is that Middletown offered the School Superintendent’s job to Hazlet’s Superintendent of Schools Bill George but he turned it down, possible due to the salary being offered, possible due to other reasons.
Seeing how the Middletown school district is nearly 3 times larger than Hazlet’s and Bill George is currently earning $192K salary (according to Data Universe) from Hazlet, a move to Middletown seems unlikely at this time but not out of the question totally.
Hazlet sources stated that Middletown BoE has applied to the State for some kind of waiver that would enable George to come to Middletown and take over the school system.
To sweeten the pot a little for Bill George did the Middletown BoE seek a waiver from the State that would have allowed the BoE to exceed the mandated cap on school superintendents salaries that Governor Christie put in place this year, in order to lure George away from Hazlet? Or was the waiver requested of the State something less extraordinary like asking for a waiver of rules that would enable the board to appoint a new superintendent without the usual guideline procedures?
Regardless, I was told by my Hazlet connections that the request for a waiver was turned down by the State and that Bill George will be staying put, where he is, in Hazlet for the time being.
Of course though anything can happen and the Hazlet people could be wrong, in the mean time, the search a for new Middletown School Superintendent go on.

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Filed under Birdsall Service Group, cap wavier, Hazlet NJ, Middeltown Board of Education, school superintendent, solar presentation, William George

And Just When You Thought They Couldn’t Get Anymore Dysfunctional, Middletown School Board Member John Macrae Hands In His Resignation.

Latest word leaking out of the Middletown Board of Education (BOE) is that new board member John Macrae, who was elected this past April to the BOE, is being held hostage after he tried to quit the dysfunctional board two weeks ago by handing in his resignation. He has been told however, that Board members are not ready to accept his resignation and that the BOE would like for him to reconsider his decision to leave.

MaCrae’s departure from the board would it make three board members who have quit in the last year if he sticks by his decision leave too. Does it sound like the rats are abandoning a sinking ship?

The problem is that since last year when board members supported by the township committee were elected to the BOE, things have gone steadily downhill. Three superintendents have come and gone, and central administrators have fled at an alarming rate; One can only assume they don’t like the board members micromanaging and telling them how to do their jobs.

Word is that the BOE have gotten so desperate that they have been offering the Superintendant job to local superintendents, only to be turned down time and time again. The Superintendent of Hazlet’s school system said no, and he is just one of many. The word is out about Middletown’s Board of Dysfunction, so no one is interested in taking the hem only to get second guessed or get the boot.

Not to worry though, according to what I‘ve been told by two separate individuals, both these matters maybe cleared up at the next Board of Education meeting. Allegedly the board may have found someone to take over the Superintends position for the $160,000 being offered after all (far below what other superintendents are in the area are making, so what can we expect?), and MaCrae will have his answer as to whether or not his resignation will be accepted if he still wishes to leave.

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Filed under dysfunction, John MaCrea, Middletown Board of Education, resignation, school superintendent

Mid’Town Board Of Education Disfunction Leads To Yet Another Superintendent Resignation; Interim Superintendent Pat Houston Storms Out Of Meeting

It’s a shame that I can’t make it to every meeting that goes on around town but luckily there are sources of information like friends, neighbors and Middletown-Patch to keep me informed. After reading what went on during last night’s Middletown Board of Education(BOE) meeting, there isn’t much left to say about how totally dysfunctional the current make up of this BOE is.

According to Middletown-Patch (you can read the article below) Middletown’s interim school Superintendent Pat Houston resigned suddenly and walked out of the meeting due to a 5-2 “No” vote on accepting Houston’s recommendations to hired Middletown High School South Interim Principal, Patrick Rinnella, as it’s new full-time Principal, replacing Dr. Anthony Shallop.

If you remember, last month there was a huge outcry from parents and students when Shallop was demoted as South’s Principal and returned to his former position as a science teacher within the school by the BOE. And to add to Houston’s sudden resignation last night, Shallop also suddenly resigned his position within the school system.

Now that Houston has resigned, Middletown BOE will be looking for it’s fourth Superintendent since January with the possibility of a fifth and High School South will be with out a Principal to start the school year.

When will this insanity stop? I have kids in the school system myself and it’s starting to make me very angry at the direction in which Middletown schools seems to be heading – it’s been all downhill for the past 16 months or more.

I would be remiss however if I didn’t commend board members Vinnie Brand and Mike Mascone for trying to end the craziness last night by voting to approve Pat Houtson’s recommendation of Patrick Rinnella. If approved, Rinnella’s appointment as South’s Principal, as controversial as it my have been, would have shown that a little common sense and stability returned to the school system.

In an abrupt, unexpected move, Middletown Township Schools Interim Superintendent Patrick Houston, minutes ago during the Board of Education

meeting, announced his resignation.

“I can’t work under these conditions,” Houston said before leaving the meeting. “Tomorrow I will be resigning as interim superintendent of schools.”

The public gasped and grumbled as he slammed his microphone down on the dais, at which point Board of Education President Joan Minnuies called for a five-minute recess and Houston clutched his briefcase and walked out of the Middletown High School North meeting venue.

This happened after a contentious majority “no” vote (5-2, with one absent and one abstention) was taken turning down Houston’s recommendation to hire Patrick Rinnella, who was serving as High School South’s interim principal until tonight, as its permanent, untenured principal. A very vocal Vincent Brandt cast one “yes” vote; and Michael Mascone cast the other.

There has been much controversy lately over the demotion of Anthony Shallop, former High School South Principal, and Houston’s rapid recommendation of a new principal. Board members had complained that the move, albeit legal, was made entirely too autonomously by the interim top administrator.

While parents, students and others in the public questioned what they deemed Houston’s lack of transparency about the process to the public and adamantly opposed his earlier recommendation to demote Shallop, they supported Rinella as top candidate to fill the South principal slot.

The majority of the board voted “no” to the recommendation of Rinella’s hiring based on what they saw as a flawed procedure. Those who supported Houston’s recommendation felt that Rinella, regardless of claims of procedural flaw, was qualified for the job and should not be the one to fall victim to board politics.

Rinella declined to comment when seen outside during the break.

Houston, as superintendent, has the legal right to make such a recommendation without any public or board input. Procedure dictates that once such a staff recommendation is made, the board then votes to either sanction it officially or turn it down, with a majority vote. The recommendation then becomes an appointment.

However, in light of recent contentiousness over the Shallop demotion, there has been an outcry from the community to have more input on such decisions. According to the agenda, Shallop, who was due to return to the classroom as a science teacher in September, resigned effective Aug. 30, “for personal reasons.”

While the public, according to comments during the public portion, did not necessarily approve of Houston’s method, they were eager to have a new principal in place at South for the start of the school year.

Tired of what many have called a “revolving door” of administrators in the district, many teachers, administrators and other colleagues applauded the notion of having an administrator in place who has demonstrated commitment to the district and is more likely to stay put.

There were 15 candidates for the job, Houston explained. Fourteen of the 15 were out of district. Rinella was the only in-district contender with experience as assistant principal.

Minnuies, before Houston announced his resignation, had made a motion to revise the procedures by which new administrators are hired.

During the recess, people were outside grumbling, milling around, as the recess extended well beyond five minutes to over half an hour. One woman was crying. Another stormed up to the stage and yelled at the board members after the recess was called.

People were clearly upset over the board voting down Rinella’s appointment as interim principal for South. Much of the source of their malcontent was derived from the fact that with the “no” vote, High School South will begin the school year

without a principal in place.

Board attorney Chris Parton said that it is legal to be without a principal in a school. That fact did not soothe anyone. On the other hand, it is not legal for a school district to operate without its top administrator, the (interim) superintendent. Resignation or not, Houston is obligated by law to stay for a month.

After reassmembling and hearing more disapproving comments from the public and board member Vincent Brandt (who voted “yes” to Rinella), the meeting ended at about 10:45, with a disgruntled public exiting.



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Filed under Dr. Anthony Shallop, Joan Minnuies, Middletown Board of Education, Middletown High School South, Middletown Patch, Mike Mascone, Pat Houston, school superintendent, Vinnie Brand

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

>Two Meetings Tonight That Shouldn’t Be Missed; MIddletown Board of Ed and Middletown Library Board of Trustees

>If you are free tonight there are two meetings this evening that shouldn’t be missed, both the Middletown Board of Education and the Middletown Library Board of Trustees meet tonight.

If you attend the Middletown BOE meeting you will find out that Interim Superintendent Thomas Pagano has submitted his resignation, if lucky you will find out why.
I have been told that he is leaving due to health reasons, evidently he is very sick and can’t perform his duties as Superintendent of Schools. Funny, that is the same reason that recently elected BOE member Bob Banta gave when he handed in his resignation after only 1 board meeting.
If you happen to stop by the Middletown Library tonight, Library Director Susan O’Neal should be presenting the projected library budget (history and forecast) to the board of trustees.
From what I understand, it will demonstrate that transferring $500K of surplus funds to the township will mean the libarary will not recover to the 2010 funding level until 2022.
Knowing this, would the library board, as advocates for the library, vote for this transfer of funds to the Township? More than likely so, but should be? I think not, at least not all of it. The library is transferring nearly $250K more to the Township than legally required to do.
Both meetings should be interesting.

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Filed under Board of Trustees, budget presentation, Middletown Board of Education, Middletown Library, resignation, school superintendent, surplus funds, Susan O'Neal