14 Sep 2014
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Superintendent Chosen for West Orange Public Schools

Selection will be approved at April 28 Board of Education meeting.

Superintendent Chosen for West Orange Public Schools
The West Orange Board of Education is pleased to announce that the superintendent search is completed and has met the timetable benchmarks established. At the Board of Education Meeting scheduled for Monday, April 28, 2014, Jeffrey Rutzky will be appointed as Superintendent of the West Orange Public Schools beginning July 1, 2014.

Mr. Rutzky is currently the Superintendent of the Roseland School District.   His previous experience includes middle school principal in the Parsippany Troy Hills School District, elementary principal in the Ridgefield School District and an assistant high school principal in the Teaneck School District.  Included in Mr. Rutzky's many strengths is the positive impact he has made on NJASK scores in the districts he has served as well as his understanding of the strong relationship between parent involvement as it correlates to student success.

Mr. Rutzky's recommendation is the result of a diligent superintendent search conducted jointly with the West Orange Board of Education and New Jersey School Boards Association. The process began in December 2013 with our search team from NJSBA conducting forums where input was encouraged from all stakeholders including the community, staff and the administration of all West Orange Public Schools. In an effort to further widen community input a survey was sent out for stakeholders to complete asking for characteristics preferred in the next Superintendent.

At the conclusion of the forums and with the completed surveys, the responses were compiled and given to the Board.  The Board reviewed the results and together with the NJSBA crafted the  search criteria.  The advertisement for Superintendent was posted in December as scheduled. After the close of the advertisement in January, 39 requests for applications for the Superintendent's position were received. Twenty-nine candidates completed the applications; 10 applicants did not. The Board reviewed the remaining 19 applications and found that 16 met the Board criteria. Thirteen of those had been Superintendents at some time in their career and three had served as Interim or Acting Superintendents.   The Board conducted first and second rounds of interviews of the top candidates in March and proceeded to check all references.

At our April 7th Board of Education meeting, the Board discussed the findings in closed session and selected a final candidate.  The candidate was then apprised of the decision.  At that time the Board's negotiations committee began contract negotiations with the candidate and his counsel.

Superintendent's contracts are standardized and have many statutory restrictions including a salary cap in accordance with the size of the school district which encompasses student enrollment numbers and whether or not the district includes a high school.  After revising and finalizing the contract, it was submitted to the Essex County Executive Superintendent for approval.

The Board was notified on Monday, April 21st that the Essex County Executive Superintendent has approved the four year contract. We are pleased to announce Mr. Rutzky will be appointed at the next West Orange Board of Education meeting on April 28, 2014.  In the coming weeks, information about a community meeting to meet Mr. Rutzky will be made available as details are finalized.


Sandra Mordecai

President West Orange Board of Education

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