interim HR director
Paul Arilotta, the district’s new interim director of human resources, speaks during the Oct. 2 Board of Education meeting. That night, the district announced two new administrative hires. ERIN ROLL/STAFF

By ERIN ROLL
roll@montclairlocal.news

The Montclair School District’s interim human resources director, appointed just over two months ago, will be taking a two-month hiatus from the district next month. But the district hopes to have a permanent replacement before he leaves.

Paul Arilotta, the district’s interim director of human resources, will be in Florida from Jan. 1 to March 1, Interim Superintendent Nathan Parker said at the Dec. 4 Board of Education meeting. District officials knew before hiring Arilotta that he would be departing for two months, Parker added.

Arilotta was appointed as interim human resources director Oct. 2, while the district is in the process of searching for a permanent human resources director.

BOE members are in the process of reviewing resumes, with the expectation to have a permanent director of human resources hired by the time Arilotta leaves, Parker said.

Arilotta was hired at a pay rate of $775 a day, on a part-time basis, and will not be on paid leave, according to district officials.

His hiring was announced as the district experienced payroll and contract problems.

When teachers received their new contract paperwork ahead of the start of the new school year, they reported that the salary data in their paperwork was incorrect, and at least one staffer reported getting a paperwork packet containing another staffer’s documents.

During the first two months of the school year, staffers were being paid under the 2017-2018 pay rate instead of receiving their full pay for the 2019-2020 school year until contract rates could be assessed and applied. Two payroll glitches resulted in direct deposits not arriving on time, and some staff accidentally received two pay deposits.

Teaching staff held a rally near the BOE offices on Valley Road on Oct. 15 to call for the district to address the payroll issues as soon as possible.

Staff is now receiving correct pay rates for the 2019-2020 school year, and will receive retroactive pay for 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 by the end of December.

Arilotta is one of three interim administrators appointed this year, as the district searches for permanent staffing.

Sheila Cole was hired as the interim director for elementary education at a pay rate of $625 a day. Her hiring was announced at the same time as Arilotta’s, and she is employed on a part-time basis.

In November, Margaret Hayes was appointed as the district’s new interim assistant superintendent for equity, curriculum and instruction. Her pay rate is $825 per day, for three days each week. That position had been vacant since Kendra Johnson, the first person to hold that position, was appointed as the district’s superintendent in March 2018.