By Ron Leir
Looking ahead to the September schools opening, the Kearny Board of Education has undertaken a reshuffling of top-level district personnel, implementing an administrative reorganization recommended by Acting Superintendent Patricia Blood with an eye to cutting costs.
As part of that reorganization, the school board eliminated the position of assistant superintendent of schools. Debra Sheard had served in the post last year.
Sheard was appointed director of personnel and evaluation in the Perth Amboy school district at an annual salary of $120,000 on July 24, according to the Perth Amboy Board of Education website.
Back in Kearny, at its July 29 meeting, the Kearny Board of Education voted to install three employees in three key slots:
• Meghan Avitable, a 13- year educator whose most recent post was high school supervisor of student review assessment and basic skills instruction, will now be district supervisor of testing and data. educator and, most recently, a third-grade teacher at Washington School, has been tapped to become district supervisor of language arts and social studies.
• Mary Goffredo, with a history of 21 years teaching in New Jersey, has spent the last 12 years in Kearny schools, most recently as a master math teacher and she will become district supervisor of math and science.
• Cynthia Rogasis, a 31-year educator in the district who was in charge of the special education program at Kearny High School, will shift to district supervisor of special education.
Each appointment will take effect Aug. 15.
Because these jobs are newly created, it remains for the school board and Kearny Education Association to negotiate salaries for them, a board spokesperson said.
In other personnel moves, the board accepted Blood’s recommendation to promote Curtis Brack, a vice principal currently assigned to Washington Elementary School, to principal of Garfield Elementary School at $138,247 a year, effective Aug. 1.
Brack, a 13-year district employee who has previously served as a high school special education teacher, replaces Robert Wasilak, who is retiring Sept. 1 after 31 years in the Kearny school system.
Antonio Moyano, the current vice principal of Lincoln School, is being transferred to Washington School, effective Aug. 15, at no change in salary.
And Charles Polk, an 11-year employee who teaches science at Kearny High School, has been named Kearny Adult School director for the 2014- 2015 fall and spring semesters at a stipend of $7,500.
Two longtime district employees have departed: Christina Kozinski, teacher of basic skills at Kearny High School, retired, effective July 1, after 33 years of service and Alzira Ramalho, computer teacher at Franklin Elementary School, also retired July 1 after 28 years.
Meanwhile, Blood and the rest of her administrative staff were anticipating the long-awaited move, from their current offices at the Franklin Elementary School campus on Davis Ave., to their new 3-story digs at the converted former tire factory and later, private school, at Midland Ave. and Elm St.
Although an elevator has yet to be installed in the building, school operations director Mark Bruscino said the district is getting a temporary certificate of occupancy from the town construction office, allowing installation of furniture, computers and files on the first and second floors but delaying occupancy of the second floor until an elevator is installed.
Bruscino said he expected to “start moving people in” – to a limited extent – by this week or soon after. Delivery and installation of the elevator isn’t anticipated until mid- August, he said.
Once sufficient numbers of staffs are out of their Franklin School quarters, Bruscino said he would begin conversion of that space to create four new classrooms to accommodate Franklin students. “I expect that to happen by Sept. 1,” he said.
A new school board meeting room awaits development in the annex to the Midland Ave. building. Bruscino said that should be ready by “the beginning of October” while new basement- level classrooms in the main building are projected for completion by “November or December.”