Search Process for Superintendent Under Way

Posted by Thomas DeLoughry on 12/21/2018 6:06:00 AM

Search Process for Superintendent Under Way


The transition from Superintendent Rich Kuder to Interim Superintendent Jeffrey Feifer is happening with the flip of the calendar to 2019, but the process for finding a new permanent Superintendent has been going on for months.


After Dr. Kuder announced his intention to retire, the Board of Education hired Sousa & Stern Educational Consultants of Fort Lee to handle the search to replace him. The position has been advertised in a number of publications, including Education Week, The New York Times, and The Star-Ledger, and applicants were requested to send resumes by December 14th.


The Board intends to begin the first round of interviews in January with some applicants returning in February for the next round. The ideal, says Board of Education President Rob Francin, would be to offer the position to the best candidate in the spring so he or she could join Wyckoff on July 1st.


But Francin says that the District is far from desperate. “We’d wait as long as we need to get the right candidate,” he says, noting that Dr. Feifer is flexible about staying beyond July if needed.


Wyckoff’s last search for a Superintendent was in 2010 when Francin was new to the Board and the District was searching for a replacement for former Superintendent Janet Razze who had left on a medical leave. It was also “more chaotic economically,” Francin says, noting the impact of a severe recession on school districts.


“Today, we’re in a much better place,” Francin says. “Right now the mission for the District is much more concrete and we’re really looking for someone who buys into that.”


Common Threads from community input process

Sousa & Stern has held community-input sessions with parents, faculty, and administrators to further define what the Board should be seeking in a new Superintendent. This Community Planning Process has focused on identifying the District’s beliefs, strengths, goals, and challenges in the years ahead.


Francin says the Board has a special concern about the state-mandated cap of $169,689 per year for the salary of a superintendent for a district of Wyckoff’s size. The Board of Education has written to Gov. Phil Murphy to request a waiver to the cap, which was put into effect in 2011. The Governor has not responded to the Board’s request, Francin says, noting his continuing interest in working with other New Jersey school districts to get Trenton to change the caps.


“People can go to New York districts and can make more,” Francin says. “Some principals can make more than that in other New Jersey districts,” he adds. Principals’ salaries are not subject to caps, he notes, so some may elect to stay in their jobs rather than give up money to become a superintendent.


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