HILLSBOROUGH, NJ — The search for a new Hillsborough School superintendent continues as recruiting begins this summer. More teachers have also left the district recently, underscoring the need for a good fit in a new superintendent.
Brown compiled a list of the district’s strengths and challenges in order to find the ideal solution. To do this, members of the BOE, public school administrators, students and leaders of the Hillsborough Education Association were consulted to determine the characteristics that the HYAA should look for when recruiting and selecting candidates.
Brown noted some of the neighborhood’s strengths, including its positive reputation with people who move there; a highly dedicated staff, especially in special education; and a wide variety of student opportunities.
Challenges for the district included: rebuilding trust between the district and its leaders; more transparency; and the disadvantage of the state funding formula.
“We will use this information to try to find someone who is a perfect fit,” Brown said. “We are looking for someone with experience to meet these challenges.”
The next steps are recruiting all summer. The official job posting is online and applications are being accepted until August 15. See the job offer here.
On September 12, a list of 6 to 10 candidates will be presented to the School Board. Interviews are scheduled to take place September 17 and 24 with the goal of appointing a new superintendent in early October.
The new superintendent will replace Dr. Lisa Antunes after she resigns effective May 1 after being on paid leave for the past four months. Read more: Hillsborough superintendent resigns, inquiry into school finances continues
She abruptly announced her leave on December 22, 2021. This was at the same time the Somerset County District Attorney’s Office and Hillsborough Police began investigating the school district‘s finances. Business administrator Aiman Mahmoud also abruptly resigned on December 20, 2021. Read more: Prosecutor investigating Hillsborough school finances: report
Loss of staff
While Hillsborough Education Association President Henry Goodhue praised the board for the way it is handling the superintendent hiring process, he also expressed concern over the continued trend of staff leaving the district. .
“During the search, we heard repeatedly that the staff are a strength of the district. Certainly, it’s nice to hear that and to know that the work of our members is seen. But retention was also noted” , said Goodhue.
Goodhue pointed to the motion on the June 27 agenda to approve the retirement of one staff member and the resignation of 10 others.
“This is an ever growing list of retirements and resignations. As I sat here and listened to the report given and… I was struck by the fact that we have a list where we lose incredibly talented people and lose them because of toxic substances And because of the things that were done to them to eventually make them leave. We don’t lose people because they go to better neighborhoods. We lose them because they are tired of being used in a toxic culture,” Goodhue said.
At the end of May, John Oliver, a member of the board of directors and member of the human resources committee, described the number of resignations as “fast and furious”. Read more: Hillsborough sees ‘worrying’ number of staff leaving district
In May alone, the Hillsborough School District saw 23 teachers and staff resign or retire.
While Goodhue is glad the issue is on the next superintendent’s radar, he called on the board to face the reality of fleeing staff now.
“We have to confront what is happening and how this culture still permeates certain corners of this district. And I ask the council, everyone around the table, to consider what you are doing, the actions you are taking, don’t take, and ask yourself if any of them reinforce some of the negative narratives that have been presented to people,” Goodhue said.
Oliver previously said the district was working to create a new committee to work with the HEA to try to gather information about quits and retirements among school employees. Read more: Hillsborough creates committee to address school staff issues
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