RED BANK: RUMAGE REFLECTS ON FIVE YEARS

JARED RUMAGE, red bankSuperintendent Jared Rumage wished middle schoolers a nice holiday weekend on the Friday before Memorial Day in May. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank’s school district still faces stiff financial challenges, but is “without question” in all-around better shape than it was when he arrived five years ago, says Superintendent Jared Rumage.

And as he did at a presentation last week, Rumage is hoping to leverage the narrative of that improvement to win voter approval of a $6.75 million referendum in November.

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LITTLE SIVER: RBR TEACHERS BLAST MOORE

RED BANK REGIONAL LOU MOORESuperintendent Lou Moore at Wednesday’s RBR board meeting. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe union representing teachers at Red Bank Regional accused Superintendent Lou Moore Wednesday night of running the three-town high school district with an “authoritarian” approach and a “general lack of integrity.”

The bombshell accusations were made at a board of ed meeting hours after the Red Bank Regional Education Association’s members “overwhelmingly” cast a no-confidence vote against Moore, said math teacher Sunny Lenhard.

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RBR SUPERINTENDENT: ADDRESS GUN ACCESS

Superintendent Louis Moore speaking at an anti-hate rally in Red Bank last August. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

This essay, titled ‘Schools Will Not Be Secure Until We Address Access to Lethal Weapons,’ was submitted to redbankgreen by Red Bank Regional High Superintendent Louis Moore.

Since the tragedy at Columbine High School almost 20 years ago, school districts have implemented measures to protect students and staff from the threat of a mass shooting. Entrances have been hardened with “mantraps” and bullet resistant glass. “Active shooter” drills are now regularly conducted along with fire drills. New security staff have been hired and all staff are trained on best security practices.

Yet the brutal massacre in Parkland, Florida demonstrates that schools remain vulnerable and the threat is ongoing. Read More »

LITTLE SILVER: HARASSMENT SUIT COST $290K

carolyn kossack 090612Superintendent Carolyn Kossack, seen here in 2012.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03lawsuit that accused Little Silver’s school superintendent of same-sex sexual harassment was settled for $290,000, a website focused on government settlements reported Monday.

The case, which also alleged wrongful termination, was resolved last November, but its monetary details were not previously disclosed.

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RBR: MEET THE NEW SUPERINTENDENT

louis moore 1The Red Bank Regional Board of Education is inviting community members to meet the school district’s new superintendent, Louis Moore, at a meet-and-greet event scheduled for Wednesday, June 15, from 7 to 8 p.m. in the school commons. 

Moore, who starts his new job July 1, has served as the principal of Ramapo High School in Bergen County since 2007.  He was hired by RBR in April to replace Thomas Pagano, who has served as interim superintendent since the June, 2014 departure of Jim Stefankiewicz,

FAIR HAVEN: NEW SUPERINTENDENT SIGNS ON

sean mcneil 050316 1New Fair Haven schools Superintendent Sean McNeil gets right to work, serving cake to students at a gathering to welcome him Tuesday night. His official start date is July 1. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Fair Haven Board of Education kept it local in filling the superintendent’s job Tuesday night.

The board unanimously approved Sean McNeil, principal of the Port Monmouth Elementary School in Middletown, to replace Nelson Ribon.

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RED BANK REGIONAL HIRES NEW SUPER

RBR_HIGH_SCHOOLLouis Moore, below, comes to RBR from Bergen County, where he’s been a high school principal since 2007. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

louis moore 1After a two-year interval under caretaker leadership, Red Bank Regional High has hired a new superintendent.

The one-school district’s board last week approved a three-year contract with Louis Moore, the principal of Ramapo High School in Franklin Lakes, in Bergen County.

Moore, who starts the new job on July 1, replaces Thomas Pagano, an Interlaken resident who has served as interim superintendent since the June, 2014 departure of Jim Stefankiewicz, who became superintendent in his hometown of Ocean Township.

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FAIR HAVEN: RIBON RESIGNS

nelson ribon 042814 3Fair Haven schools Superintendent Nelson Ribon, seen here in 2014, plans to leave the district next July 1, following the school board’s acceptance of his resignation last week. In a letter to the school community, Ribon, who has led the two-school district since 2011, cited “exciting opportunities available to me in the very near future” as a factor in his decision. He didn’t respond to a request for comment last Friday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

LITTLE SILVER: HARRASSMENT SUIT SETTLED

carolyn kossack 090612Superintendent Carolyn Kossack, seen here in 2012.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03The Little Silver Board of Education has approved a proposed settlement of a lawsuit against Superintendent Carolyn Kossack alleging same-sex sexual harassment and wrongful termination.

The case involved allegations by JoAnn Riley, of Edison, who claimed she was just four months into her job as a $105,000-a-year special services supervisor when she was abruptly fired.

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LITTLE SILVER: SCHOOL JOBS DEBATED

LS PtRd Sch 010312The two-school district includes the Little Silver Point Road School, above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Under pressure from parents, the Little Silver Board of Education will look for “compromise” on a proposed elimination of two school library jobs, president Christian Smith said Thursday night.

Smith’s comment came after more than two hours of discussion over the role of librarians – media specialists, in contemporary terms – and a recommendation by Superintendent Carolyn Kossack that the posts give way in the coming school year to other priorities. Namely, the teaching of so-called STEM subjects: science, technology, engineering and math.

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LITTLE SILVER: SCHOOL CUTS IN SPOTLIGHT

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A decision by the Little Silver school district to terminate its two media specialists at the end of the year has stirred some passion that may get aired out this week.

Superintendent Carolyn Kossack told parents and teachers in an April 2 letter that the two-school district had decided to eliminate the positions of media specialists at the Markham Place and Point Road school libraries and replace them with Science, Technology Engineering & Math (STEM) teachers.

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LITTLE SILVER: SUIT ALLEGES SEXUAL PURSUIT

carolyn kossack 090612Superintendent Carolyn Kossack, seen here in 2012.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A former Little Silver school staffer claims she was fired after after rebuffing sexual advances by Superintendent Carolyn Kossack, the Asbury Park Press reported Monday night.

Former special services supervisor JoAnn Riley, of Edison, is also suing the school board and a former principal at the Markham Place School, who Riley claims refused to help her as Kossack’s advances became more assertive, the Press reports.

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FAIR HAVEN: TEACHERS SETTLE CONTRACT

nelson ribon 042814 3 Superintendent Nelson Ribon fielded pointed questions from parents about the teachers’ contract and other issues at two packed meetings in April. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

After two years without a contract, Fair Haven school teachers have approved a new collective bargaining agreement, the Asbury Park Press reports.

The unresolved contract was among several flash points when parents grilled Superintendent Nelson Ribon and the school board over the possible elimination of two full-time kindergarten teaching jobs in April.

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FAIR HAVEN: RESIDENTS RALLY FOR TEACHERS

fh boe  043014 1 Students held signs with the names of teachers whose jobs they hoped to save. Board member Katy Frissora, below, fielded a question from a parent. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

katy frissora 043014Some 300 Fair Haven parents and students packed a gymnasium to protest a plan not to renew the contracts of seven non-tenured teachers Wednesday night.

“It breaks my heart to leave my school like this in two months,” eighth-grader Ellie Gibney told the borough school board, just 48 hours after a smaller crowd upbraided school Superintendent Nelson Ribon over the plan.

Board members, however, defended the decision as the outcome of an evaluation process that included elements they could not discuss publicly under laws governing personnel matters.

“We need people to stop with the vitriol and the Facebook nastiness – at me in particular,” said Katy Frissora, who’s been on the board for eight years.

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FAIR HAVEN: SCHOOLS HEAD UNDER FIRE

fh schools 2 042814Superintendent Nelson Ribon, center above, fielded pointed questions from parents, including one, below, who compared him to a CEO who had lost the respect of his employees. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

fh schools 1 042814Fair Haven school Superintendent Nelson Ribon found himself in the crosshairs of about 100 mothers and a handful of students Monday night.

Joined by about a dozen men, the women and kids challenged Ribon and the school board over the possible elimination of two full-time kindergarten teaching jobs, a plan to expand the half-time kindergarten program next September, and pending decisions on the jobs of more than two dozen teachers.

“Teachers are afraid to talk,” a woman who has four children in the district schools told Ribon during a two-hour Q&A at Knollwood School. “They’re fearful for their jobs, and that’s not what Fair Haven is about.”

“We’re asking you to reconsider” a plan to replace the two kindergarten full-timers with four part-timers, said another, echoing a sentiment voiced several times.

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RED BANK: SCHOOLS HEAD MORANA TO RETIRE

laura morana 111709Superintendent Laura Morana in her office in 2009. (Click to enlarge)

Red Bank schools Superintendent Laura Morana is leaving the district at the end of the month, according to a measure approved at a school board meeting Wednesday night.

According to a late addition to the meeting agenda, the board accepted her resignation “for the purpose of retirement,” effective September 30.

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FAIR HAVEN STARTS SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH

Community and school board members assembled at Knollwood School Thursday night regarding the search for a new superintendent to replace Kathi Cronin, below. (Photo above by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

Fair Haven residents gathered Thursday night to kick around ideas about filling the shoes of school district Superintendent Kathleen Cronin, who is set to retire on June 30.

Much of the discussion, however, turned on the question of whether the two-school district should be consolidated with a neighboring district or two.

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