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Politics In Berkeley School District 'Not Going To Go Away,' Consultant Says

Deadline to apply for Berkeley schools superintendent position is May 31

 

The people who attended the forum last night on the search for a new Berkeley Township schools superintendent let a consultant know exactly what they wanted.

Someone involved in the community. Someone already known in town. Someone who could streamline curriculums in the elementary schools to make the transition to Central Regional Middle School and Central Regional High school a little easier. Someone who can bring in revenue. Someone non-political.

And while his name was never mentioned, the man they described was sitting quietly in the audience - 

"We've had a very political community here for some time," one woman said. "It's time to put away. We've lost programs in a very quiet...a sneaky way. I'd like someone to come in and almost restore what is lost."

"I'd like to see someone come into the schools where the kids know who they are and the public knows who they are," one woman said.

The forum was led by Richard Marasco, a principal in the firm. The Board of Education voted unanimously at the April 19 board meeting to hire the firm for $6,500 to begin the search for a replacement for Joseph H. Vicari.

"This is your opportunity to participate in the process," Marasco told the group of about 15 in the audience. "It helps me to get a better understanding of the district. It's a blueprint for the board and the superintendent to go forward in the forseeable future. I'm interested in what you have to say, what you like, what you don't like."

Marasco, who was superintendent of Monroe Township schools for 21 years, briefly served as interim superintendent in Berkeley back in 1998.

"My job is not to pick the superintendent," Marasco said last night. "It's to provide a short list of candidates."

The pool of superintendent candidates in New Jersey has shrunk over the past several years, he said.

"Salary caps, job stress, political opposition has diminished the pool of people interested," Marasco said. "Twenty years ago, you had 100 people dying for this job.That is not the case any longer."

Parlapanides asked two questions, one at the beginning and one at the end of the forum - was the position advertised and when is the deadline to apply?

"I have never seen it advertised," he said.

The position -which has a $155,000 salary cap - has been advertised on the New Jersey Association of School Administrators and the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association website, Marasco said.

The deadline to file an application is May 31. Marasco said he hopes to have a list of roughly six to seven candidates to present to the school board two weeks later.

"I will not give the board any applicants I have not had a face to face interview with," Marasco said.

Jerry Duggan - president of the Berkeley Township Education Association - stressed the importance of curriculum continuity.

"We are a sending district," he said. "That has to be taken into consideration. Hopefully our board will be enlightened."

Central Regional Board of Education Vice President Denise Pavone-Wilson said the past few years had taken a toll on elementary school programs. That ultimately affects student performance in the middle and high schools, she said.

"I think this is a problem," she said. I would like to see a teacher put back in Spanish, instead of (using) the ."

The elimination of band and chorus in the elementary schools has also hurt the middle and high school programs, because students lack the experience when they transition into Central schools, Pavone-Wilson said.

has already said he was interested in becoming a shared superintendent with the Berkeley school district and said he would not ask for any additional salary. He is currently in the second year of a five-year contract with Central Regional at $150,000 a year.

The voted unanimously recently to replace Toms River Regional Superintendent Frank Roselli with Parlapanides starting on July 1.

Central Regional has five sending districts - Berkeley Township, Ocean Gate, Island Heights, Seaside Heights and Seaside Park. Parlapanides has said having a shared superintendent with some of the sending districts would streamline the curriculum and save money on administrative costs.

"Would they (Berkeley school board) accept a shared superintendent or just their own superintendent?" Pavone-Wilson asked Marasco.

"I have no idea," he replied.

The search for a new superintendent has been a complicated, lengthy process, rife with political overtones..

"No matter who the board chooses, you want someone to lead, bring people together and motivate," Marasco said. "The politics here is not going to go away. You need a strong leader who knows how to navigate that. If you want to be superintendent, that's part of the job."

Marasco held three separate forums yesterday - one for the staff, one for parents and one for the public. All three forums were held at the Berkeley Township Elementary School in Bayville.

Chief Wahoo May 17, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Merge these two baby sitting money pits
Jennifer Haines May 17, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Dr. Parlapanides knows Central students by name. He motivates his staff and students to always go above and beyond. He is always looking to improve Central to make it the best educational facility for every child. He attends student plays, musicals, sports competitions and other after school functions. He is endlessly fundraising for things the school needs without taking from the budget. If Dr. Parlapanides applies for the Berkeley position, I feel sorry for the other candidates because I believe no one can hold a candle to him!
t.g. jones May 17, 2012 at 04:18 PM
So right Jennifer, Hopefully then they will merge the districts and help get our property taxes in check. It is the best solution for the kids.
Chief Wahoo May 17, 2012 at 04:21 PM
How did Dr P electric switching scheme work out for CR ?
smrh May 17, 2012 at 05:04 PM
I could have saved the tax payers 6,500 they WASTED on hiring those people! There's no doubt in my mind that tom parlapanides would be the man for the job! He knows the town, grew up with a lot of the parents, went to the schools here and he knows what is good for the students! And with my son going to school soon would like someone in there that cares about the kids and not about the pay check!! If who ever is in charge could have read half of the post that were on this site he would know who needs to be in that position!!!!!
Bayville for 40 years May 17, 2012 at 06:55 PM
This BOE is full of self absorbed egomaniacal people who are out for their own interests and could care less about the children of this town. You culd fill a stadium with their egos. What they are so self impressed with - I do not know!
TV May 18, 2012 at 12:35 AM
It is quite obvious that Dr.P has some supporters and he continues to work the patch(PAT MILLER), his buddies who he got jobs for that run the comment section of his every article in the patch and Berkeley like a true politician and he claims not to be political. If he loves Central so much why did he take the Lacey principal job a few years back and then suddenly back out. Is he a man of his word or is he leading his own BOE down a very blind path, only time will tell.
Captain May 18, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Are the board members egomaniacs? I think the silent man in the room might be. The new "look at me" super in the county.
smrh May 18, 2012 at 09:56 PM
@ tv just to let u know I don't work for the school system and he didn't get me my job!
voice of reason May 23, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Are you calling switching to solar energy a sheme ?
Chief Wahoo May 23, 2012 at 09:08 PM
no he thought it was a great idea, to talk the senior citizens into switching their electric supppliers , so he can get a $2 vig for each customer he switched.......even though the poor people were than at the mercy of some scam artists supppliers who charged them way more the JCPL So How much did CR make Dr. P ??????........imo, very foolish indeed and not becoming of a Super
voice of reason May 24, 2012 at 11:57 AM
so your complaining that he is saving you tax dollairs by generating $ for the district ? if it is true that there electric bill is higher ( which i doudt ) Then simply switch back to jcp&l ?
not playing the game April 12, 2013 at 12:25 PM
i agree

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