By ERIN ROLL
The Montclair school district may not be getting a new superintendent until January at the earliest.
That’s the latest prediction from the Board of Education.
At its June 7 meeting, the board gave the audience an update on the district’s continuing search for a new superintendent.
“I know that it’s been incredibly frustrating for people, because we haven’t given a lot of information,” said Board President Laura Hertzog. “We have not had a successful search. We have not found a candidate that we think is a candidate that we can bring, or a pool of candidates that we can bring to the public and say, ‘Please help us choose among these people to be our permanent superintendent,’” Hertzog continued.
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“It is June. We are not going to have a person by September. That’s not real. That’s not true, and we’re not going to say that it is.”
Interim Superintendent Barbara Pinsak has agreed to stay on through the next school year, Hertzog said, adding that it would not make sense to bring in a new superintendent midway through a school year. The board hopes to identify a suitable candidate by January, and that person would start work next July, Hertzog said.
The superintendent position is one of several jobs in the district waiting to be filled. The district is also searching for a permanent director of pupil services and a business administrator. Theodore Kozlik, interim director of pupil services, died on May 3. Steven DiGeronimo is serving as interim business administrator.
“It’s a very difficult position to fill. Director of pupil services, business administrators — these are really hard positions to fill, because they’re really rigorous positions,” Pinsak said. She noted that some districts have only one good interview with candidates, but Montclair has opted to have a series of interviews, with several district staff members participating.
As of June 7, Pinsak said, the district had interviewed several applicants for the pupil services director position and decided to re-advertise the post.
“In the meantime, and I know interim is a four-letter word, and I understand why in Montclair … we did find an interim director because the work of the department is so great that we really can’t operate without a person in that position.”
Regarding the business administrator post, Pinsak said the district has advertised and is reviewing the applicants. A committee will oversee the interviews. Also, a search committee consisting of parents and staff will be formed to help with the pupil services director search.