Nutley’s new Superintendent of Schools comes from within

A longtime township educator has been pegged as the choice of the Nutley Board of Education for its top administrative post, but it won’t be official until next week.

In a prepared statement issued June 20, Board President Daniel Carnicella said the board expected to appoint Kent Bania as superintendent of schools at its meeting on June 27.

Bania, a 23-year school employee who was named acting superintendent this past spring, would become permanent in the role as of July 1, succeeding Julie Glazer, who leaves the district June 30.

Carnicella said Bania’s contract as superintendent “has been approved by the (Essex) County Superintendent” but the district won’t release details of that agreement until the township school board officially approves it June 27.

Bania’s appointment will mark the culmination `of the board’s search for Glazer’s replacement which began in late February with the aid of veteran retired educational administrator Ronald Bolandi. That process, bolstered by a community survey and advertisements, yielded 27 applicants for the job.

Ultimately, after interviews conducted by board members and other district stakeholders, Bania was considered the most viable candidate.

“Bania has a deep and extensive knowledge of the Nutley public schools and community and is a forward thinker in the world of education,” Carnicella said. “He is ready to lead the district.”

Bania joined the Nutley school district’s central office in fall 2016 in the role of director of curriculum, instruction and assessment for grades 6 through 12, and was elevated to assistant superintendent in 2020.

Bania holds a bachelor’s degree from Cook College/Rutgers University, a master’s degree in biology/science education from Montclair State University, a master’s degree in educational leadership from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, and a New Jersey superintendent’s certificate.

He began his educational career in Nutley as a science teacher at the township high school and John Walker Middle School in 1999. He coached lacrosse at Nutley High and Montclair State.

From 2009 to 2016, Bania served as the Nutley district’s science coordinator and, in that role, he was a member of the strategic plan development team, the primary contact for hiring science department staff and responsible for providing professional development and instructional strategies for the science department.
As a central office administrator, Bania helped transition Nutley High to a rotating block schedule.

During the pandemic, Bania aided the district’s shift to virtual instruction and helped administer federal grants to upgrade air quality, extend learning spaces, buttress mental health services, supplement staff in critical areas to expand the learning day and provide simmer academies for support.

Together with Janine Loconsolo, director of curriculum and instruction, Bania organized and led monthly virtual parent academies to provide information about standards-based report cards, harassment, intimidation and bullying (HIB) policy and procedure, social and emotional learning initiatives, updates to the social studies curriculum and program, security updates and the gifted and talented program.

“I began my career in education 23 years ago in Nutley,” Bania said. “To now have the opportunity to lead the district is incredibly unique and a tremendous honor. I have lasting relationships within the district and the community and I am looking forward to working with our administrative team, principals, coordinators, teachers and students and the board to carry the district into the future.”

Bania, 44, lives in Cedar Grove with his wife and their two young daughters.

The school board will host a reception for both Bania and Glazer in the Nutley High courtyard on June 27 at 6 p.m. The board meeting follows at 7:15 p.m. in the high school auditorium

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Ron Leir | For The Observer

Ron Leir has been a newspaperman since the late ’60s, starting his career with The Jersey Journal, having served as a summer reporter during college. He became a full-time scribe in February 1972, working mostly as a general assignment reporter in all areas except sports, including a 3-year stint as an assistant editor for entertainment, features, religion, etc.

He retired from the JJ in May 2009 and came to The Observer shortly thereafter.

He is also a part-time actor, mostly on stage, having worked most recently with the Kearny-based WHATCo. and plays Sunday softball in Central Park, New York