It’s down to the Final Seven.
The Morris School District Board of Education will interview finalists for the Morristown High School principal job this week and forward recommendations to the district superintendent, said Leonard Posey, the new board president, on Monday.
Forty-nine people applied when the principal search started in September; the pool was narrowed to 17, and now seven, said Leonard, who succeeds Nancy Bangiola as board president.
The final choice will be made by Thomas Ficarra, the superintendent. Last fall the district advertised for someone with experience as a school administrator, a “collaborative leadership style,” excellent technology and communication skills and the “ability to work effectively in a culturally and economically diverse district.”
The superintendent had been hopeful of breaking in a new principal in March, so he or she could work alongside Interim Principal Ethel Minchello for a few months to get the lay of the land.
Ethel–who left retirement in 2012 to pinch-hit for reassigned Principal Linda Murphy–is recuperating from surgery at the moment.Frelinghuysen Middle School Principal Mark Manning is filling in for Ethel at the 1,600-student high school.
EVALUATING TEACHERS, EXPANDING SCHOOLS
Trustees’ most pressing task, in addition to helping find a new high school principal, is making sure that a new state-mandated system for evaluating teachers is implemented properly, said Leonard, a 13-year veteran of the board.
Administrators for the district–which serves Morristown, Morris Township and Morris Plains–also are beginning to explore whether to expand the high school.
Five classrooms were added to the Frelinghuysen Middle School last summer to accommodate an increase in students. Those students will be in high school before long, and the district must start thinking about where to put them, Superintendent Ficarra said.
Leonard, a Morris Township resident, is embarking on his third stint as board president. He works as a managing director for a global consulting firm and is active in the Urban League. His children graduated from Morristown High in 1996 and 2000, and a grandson attends second grade in the district.
Leonard was the board’s unanimous choice for president; Dr. Peter Gallerstein, a retired cardiologist, was a unanimous pick to continue as vice president.
The board also welcomed J.B. Blanchard, who replaces Angela Rieck, a trustee for a dozen years.