14 Sep 2014
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Fishbein Says He Plans to Stay After Contract is Up

The superintendent would face a pay cut of over $60,000 if he renews his contract in Ridgewood after it expires in summer of 2013.

Fishbein Says He Plans to Stay After Contract is Up

The Ridgewood school board hopes superintendent Daniel Fishbein sticks around after his contract expires in summer of 2013, with school board president Sheila Brogan stating at a recent board meeting that the . 

The feeling appears to be mutual.

"I am thankful to the RBOE for their confidence in me," Fishbein said in an e-mail to Patch on May 23. "At this point in my career I plan to stay."

During his four-year tenure, policies have been updated, improvements made to teacher evaluations, a successful , along with "excellent" staff and administrators brought on to oversee new curriculum and programs, he said.

Should Fishbein, a long-time Ridgewood resident with kids in the schools, choose to renew his contract with the district, he'd be among the few who are willing to take a drastic paycut due to the state's cap on superintendent pay.

Fishbein, currently making over $227,000 a year, while overseeing Bergen's largest school district.

"It would be unusual for someone to take that kind of paycut," said New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA) Executive Director Richard G. Bozza. "A lot of people are quietly just going by saying I want my contract to be over and retire."

Since the caps were implemented in 2010, many of Bergen's most experienced administrators have either fled to New York or retired.

In April, Glen Rock Superintendent David Verducci announced his plans to retire two years before his contract was set to expire. Verducci cited personal reasons and not the cap as cause for retiring, but the district is now facing the difficult task of replacing him with $70,000 less dollars.

The district while it searches for a permanent replacement, one officials expect will be far less experienced than Verducci.

Because of the superintendent caps, some top school officials are finding suboordinates clearing more in earnings, Bozza said.

"We're going to continue to see a trend of people saying, 'Instead of taking a pay cut, I can do something else or go to another state or retire,'" he said. "We're losing a lot of experience at the top."

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor James Kleimann at  James.Kleimann@patch.com, or find us on  Facebook and  Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up  for our daily newsletter.

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