James D. Roselli, who has been an administrator in the Berkeley Township schools for more than 10 years, officially became the district's superintendent on Thursday night.
Roselli was approved by a unanimous vote of the Berkeley Township Board of Education, at a special meeting of the board. He will be paid $148,000 yearly over the course of a five-year contract, the board announced.
"With the many changes in education law, it is important we have a full-time superintendent," Board President Steven read from a prepared statement.
Other board members praised Roselli and said he was clearly the best candidate of those presented to the board by , the outside firm hired to conduct the search.
Board member Sophia Gingrich, chair of the personnel committee, said Roselli, who received his doctoral degree earlier this year, was one of six candidates presented, out of 15 applicants.
Gingrich said the board interviewed those six. Central Regional schools Superintendent - who had said he was willing to be the superintendent of Berkeley for no additional pay, was not on the list they were given and thus was not interviewed, Gingrich said.
Roselli, whose resume and contract were unavailable last night, will continue to perform the role of to which he was appointed in January, overseeing the programs for special needs students, Pellecchia said.
The separate position will be eliminated. Pellecchia said the move would save the district $131,000 -- the salary they had been paying Roselli previously.
Roselli was hired as principal at Clara B. Worth Elementary School about 2000, and became principal at Berkeley Township Elementary School for the 2004-2005 school year, though the school physically opened its doors in January 2005.
After the board's vote made it official, Roselli, who was accompanied by his wife, children and several other family members, thanked the crowd of mostly school staff who had come out to support him.
"I never announced my candidacy publicly because I wanted to respect the process," Roselli said. "I appreciate everyone putting your trust in me."
Parlapanides' name was not mentioned during the school board meeting except in reference to the Stokes trip, where Pellecchia read off a list of those who chaperoned the trip and thanked them for their support of the trip.
The only questions raised about Roselli and the process were by Keith Fisher, who is among the slate of 10 candidates who've announced they're running for the board in the November elections.
"Why did we spend money looking for a guy who was right in front of us all the time?" Fisher asked.
Ytreboe said the board hired the firm because in 2008, when the board at that time replaced then-Superintendent Joseph Vicari, it received a lot of negative feedback about the lack of input in the process from all the stakeholders -- the teachers, parents and taxpayers.
"We wanted to make sure the best candidate was right here," Ytreboe said.
Fisher then questioned whether it was appropriate for Ytreboe to have voted on Roselli's appointment, since Ytreboe works in the Toms River Regional School District under Superintendent Frank Roselli. Frank Roselli is related to James Roselli, though the exact relationship between them was not specified last night.
Ytreboe said he asked about whether he should abstain from the vote. Board Attorney John C. Sahradnick said the appearance of influence by Frank Roselli over Ytreboe was "remote" and told Ytreboe it was acceptable for him to vote.
Resident Jim Galanaugh - who sits on the board of the Berkeley Township Taxpayers Association and was at the meeting to drum up support for attempts to change the state aid funding formula - did not speak at the meeting but said he questions the need for two superintendents.
"Most of what they do is philanthropic," Galanaugh said, trying to raise money and support for the school and its programs. "I don't see a need for two. I think we have an overload of administrative people in education."
Galanaugh also questioned the length of Roselli's contract.
"Obviously the man is well-liked," Galanaugh said. "I don't know him. But I think when you say you're going to give someone (who's new in a position) a five-year contract, that's exhorbitant."
Gingrich said the board voted for a five-year contract for Roselli -- rather than a shorter one to see if they were satisfied with his job performance in the new role -- because "We're happy with him right now."
"He knows the kids, he knows the staff," she said. "He has the programs already in place."
"He will be able to hit the ground running," she said.
Roselli's appointment is likely to become an issue in this November. Ten people are running for the four available seats.
Three of the sitting board members -Ytreboe, Louis J. Tuminaro and John MacMoyle - were not elected, but to fill board vacancies. Their terms are up this year.
There is also another vacancy created when board member resigned recently.
said in her resignation letter she was leaving because of the "lack of professionalism of the members of the Berkeley Township School Board and the mismanagement of Berkeley Township taxpayers funds in reference to the hiring of an interim superintendent."