New superintendent expected soon


More than 40 educators have applied for the position of superintendent of schools for the Belleville public school district, according to Board of Education officials.

Board President John Rivera and board member William Freda, who chairs the search committee, said last week that no more applications are being accepted and that the consultant hired by the board to conduct the search, Strategic Educational Advantage of River Edge, was expected to develop a “short list” of candidates soon.

As advertised, candidates must have a New Jersey school administrator certificate and some experience as a central office administrator, along with “knowledge of school finance and budgets.”

Rivera and Freda said that the full board would interview the finalists, as provided by the consultant.

“I would expect that we will get through the interview process quickly so that the board could vote on an appointment in January,” Rivera said.

Whoever gets the job will be inheriting a deficit from the 2013-2014 school year which Tom Egan, the state monitor assigned to the district, has projected at around $4 million. The board is waiting for an audited statement of finances so that it can request an appropriate amount of state aid to cover that gap in next year’s budget.

In late August, the board designated School 4 Principal Ricardo Acosta as acting superintendent in place of the departed Helene Feldman, who resigned with two years remaining in her contract after receiving more than $95,000 in compensation. Last month, the board voted to grant Acosta an additional $2,000 stipend for taking on extra administrative duties.

Last month, the board also hired Robert T. Clark as an interim school business administrator/ board secretary at $500 a day with no benefits. He’ll serve through June 30. He’s a former school business administrator for the Sussex County Vocational School.

The board also appointed Henry Sinatra as interim assistant principal of Belleville Middle School, also through June 30, at $475 a day.

 – Ron Leir 

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