Arlene J. Lippincott took over as schools superintendent nearly two years ago, after a previous Board of Education decided that Joseph H. Vicari's services were no longer needed.
Today is the last day she will hold that title, even though the current board voted last October to begin contract negotiations with her for a permanent contract.
"She goes back to the principal's desk in Bayville," board vice President John Bacchione said.
And Vicari returns tomorrow to the job he held for six years, until the previous board decided not to renew his contract in 2008. His contract ran out in June 2009.
"It's a tremendous move in the right direction," Bacchione said. "Joe Vicari has a proven track record as a successful superintendent. It saves the taxpayers money."
Lippincott may also end up serving temporarily as the four-school district's special education director. Diane Beard — the current special education director — is out on medical leave, and Lippincott is the only person in the district with the proper certifications to fill that job temporarily, he said.
"Arlene told us she is the only person in the district licensed to do that," Bacchione said.
Lippincott was still principal of the when she was tapped to serve as interim superintendent. Mary A. Guinan has been serving as assistant principal of the Bayville School since Lippincott took over as superintendent. It will be up to Vicari to decide how he wants to shift personnel around when he returns, Bacchione said.
"I don't know how he will handle it," Bacchione said.
Lippincott seemed to be on her way to becoming a permanent superintendent when the board voted unanimously at the Oct. 7 meeting to authorize board attorney John C. Sahradnik to begin negotiations with her for a three-year contract.
Board members also voted unanimously at the same meeting to advertise the vacant principal's position at the Bayville Elementary School. Lippincott has been filling that role, along with the interim superintendent's position.
But in December, Bacchione and board President James J. Byrnes invited Vicari -— a longtime Ocean County Republican freeholder — to drop by the district's administrative offices.
Vicari has said he thought it was a holiday invitation and had no idea it was a personnel committee meeting. Bacchione and Byrnes asked him to return as superintendent until a permanent replacement could be found. Vicari offered to work free of charge, with no benefits.
However, state law requires that credentialed school administrators must be paid a salary, board President James J. Byrnes has said. So the board settled on paying Vicari $18,500, or $71 a day, the lowest the district could possibly pay. Vicari will also be given 43 days off without pay during the coming year, which includes vacation, sick and personal days, according to his contract.
Vicari has made it clear he will serve no longer than a year when he returns. So the board will eventually end up looking for another permanent superintendent.