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It's Official: Berkeley Board Hires Roselli for 5 years, $148,000

Superintendent announcement receives standing ovation, few questions

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."

Keeping whats mine June 29, 2012 at 12:36 PM
NEVER cease to amaze. What a WASTE of our $$$$$
Joe Facts June 29, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Looks like a good deal for 10 grand
Thomas June 29, 2012 at 02:22 PM
I think now is the time to support the new super whether you agree or disagree. He will need the help and support from all so we can move forward and provide the children of Berkekey Twp schools. As far as the board is concerned, November is coming. It's our chance to make a change and bring in new people to shake things up.
John Heline June 29, 2012 at 02:32 PM
I think Mr. Roselli is great but I have one concern. If they are able to eliminate the separate role of a "director of special needs" because Mr. Roselli can perform both jobs then where else can they consolidate positions and services to save money ? I think it's time to hire an outside firm to see where else we can combine positions and services and save money. It's time for the Berkeley Township board of Education to wake up and realize it made more sense for us to be a K-12 school district so that we can save money through consolidation.
Joe Semiraro June 29, 2012 at 03:19 PM
There's no need to hire an outside firm; consolidating work into shared services is what our elected officials are supposed to be doing. Trouble is they're failing on making shared services happen. The Town Council had the supreme opportunity to work with the BOE and have the well qualified Dr. P assume the superintendent's responsibilities at no additional cost; and, they failed to convince the BOE to make that move, Could have saved the town $148,000 plus benefits. Same old crony politics here in Bayville.
Natty Bumppo June 29, 2012 at 03:34 PM
And this guy is related to who? And they so happen to be "thick as theives" with a certain Toms River, former Berkeley Superintendent and current Ocean County Freeholder?? Oh now it makes sense. Spending money for the search, not interviewing a certain qualified candidate who wanted to job, was all a show to make it look like everything was on the up and up, while actually this is another political appointment.
Chief Wahoo June 29, 2012 at 06:07 PM
when you look in Webster's ....thats the definition, of the fix was in
Ctec June 29, 2012 at 06:37 PM
As a parent of 2 children with one in each school I am very pleased with the outcome. Each school has its own set of challenges that require 100% of the supers focus and time commitment. There has to be a balance between money savings and providing high quality education which the boe has done. Both of my children have excelled in both schools. I am happy that Dr. P can continue his work at central with no distractions and I am confident that Dr. Roselli will do a great job in his new role.
BobbyC June 29, 2012 at 07:01 PM
I am very pleased with the decision. Dr. Roselli should be given the town's full support. It is a shame that the Patch slants it's articles in such a bias way. Dr. P is doing a fine job in Central and Dr. Roselli will continue to do a fine job in Berkeley.
Chief Wahoo June 29, 2012 at 07:39 PM
and over $300,000 salaries in taxpayers money, when only one overpaid paper pusher is needed, doesnt bother you a bit ????
Thomas June 29, 2012 at 07:47 PM
I'm not sure the issue is if Dr R will do a good job or not, I'm sure he will. He will require everyone's support to succeed at his new position and provide the best education for the children of the district. The two supers need to work together now to ensure the transition from Berkekry to Central is seem less. The issue is with the BOE and their handling of the search process. I have no doubt certain members of the board are making this political when it should be about the children and their education. I do feel it's time to get new people on the board who will do what's right for the district and the town and not for their own good. Some of these people have been around for too long and if you attend the meetings are clearly out of touch with the community. Looking forward to November.
John Heline June 29, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Mr Roselli will not devote 100% of his time to being a super as he will still be doing the full time job he was hired for in the first place "Roselli, whose resume and contract were unavailable last night, will continue to perform the role of director of special services," It seems to me it would have been much easier having 1 superintendent running both schools systems than having a Superintendent who handling both the Berkeley Township Superintendent and director of special services roles at the same time. If he can do it with no problem then it makes me think that The Berkeley Board is not on top of things and there might be other positions that could be combined to save money.
crga June 30, 2012 at 02:40 AM
What I want to know is will Roselli actually ever be available to parents or will he continue to push problems off on anyone else to fix. The political crap in this district is destroying our schools for our kids. We finally had an answer, someone who is for the kids, Dr. P. He attends almost every event at Central, knows kids, works constantly for the benefit of the kids. Roselli wouldn't even allow six graders to have a dance because he doesn't like attending night activities. He never gave up time to have quality events for the children of his school. I hope for $148,000 he spends time actually working and not taking off to home the second the bell rings at 1:50pm. I wish someone would get out there and really talk to parents and see how they feel.
karma June 30, 2012 at 10:19 PM
There needs to be a like button under what people right, many of you have such good points!! I am very pleased that alot of us think the same and this is just a big waste.. how do you care for this many kids when u have 3 different job positions and a home life ?!?!?!

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