NJSBA Hosts Community Input Meeting For Superintendent Search

PHOTOS: A meeting hosted by the New Jersey School Boards Association was held yesterday evening as they search for a new School Superintendent to replace Ms. Lydia Silva. The meeting, held at the Lakewood High School, and attended by the BOE President Carl Fink and Board member Tracy Tift, focused on getting community input during the process.

The process is costing the district $15,000.

Current Superintendent Lydia Silva, who has served as Superintendent of Lakewood schools since July 27, 2009, will be retiring after more than 30 years in education. She has agreed to stay on as Superintendent until a new one can be found, so the transition goes as smooth at possible.

The new Superintendent is expected to be hired in time for the new school year. TLS.

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  1. New Jersey School District – Superintendent Search by New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA)
    With all due respect to the BOE, and my undivided support for the new BOE’s efforts to bring about positive change to Lakewood School District, I was unimpressed with the presentation by NJSBA representative, Kathy Winecoff at the meeting last night. NJSBA was hired by the former BOE to conduct the Superintendent search. I heard a repeated message that their organization protects the district from legal action regarding the search, that they can and do recruit from everywhere in the US, that any and all of the applicants must hold NJ Certification as a Superintendent prior to taking office, and all applicants will be prescreened by NJSBA.

    The audience heard repeatedly, that Ms. Winecoff has served on multiple BOE’s in Monmouth County, and has conducted four searches for superintendents as a representative of NJSBA in the past. I believe that we were not present to hear the praises of NJSBA, and their representatives. The overwhelming concern was; when will a new Superintendent be hired? How long will Superintendent Silva remain in place? Is Attorney Inzelbuch really going to remain as an employee of the Lakewood School District?

    Also in attendance were BOE President, Carl Fink, and Board Member Tracy Tift. Mr. Fink, on two occasions interrupted Ms. Winecoff’s dissertation to tell the audience that the new Board will listen to the needs of the community and work diligently to bring about positive change to the Lakewood School District. Mr. Fink then went on to answer questions from the audience. Mr. Fink has established and is continuing to establish multiple working committees to address issues. He feels strongly that every child in the district deserves a thorough and efficient education, and under his leadership, the BOE will endeavor to make it their priority to deliver a superior education, insure safety, address the flaws in the current public schools, including a roof for the middle school and to remediate the mold and mildew problem resulting from the leak.

    Mr. Fink has the utmost confidence in the newly appointed Legal Firm of Simon Schwartz & Edelstein, a Law Firm well known for their work with school districts. A new Attorney will act as legal counsel to the District, will address legal issues at the request of the BOE and/or the Superintendent, and will not lead the BOE. Mr. Fink said the BOE needs to address the issues of teacher’s contracts immediately. Teachers have been without a contract for two years. Mr. Fink and Mr. Tift have toured the public schools in the district to gain a full understanding of the issues and possibilities pertaining to cramped educational space. Mr. Fink wants to address, update, upgrade, and revitalize how students take on education. He wants to invest in electronic devices, such as a Kindle for each student, where the district can purchase downloaded courseware, rather than continue to purchase hard copy textbooks.

    This part of the meeting was great, and the audience was engaged; and the exchange prompted a forum for discussion. The audience felt that their opinion and suggestions mattered, and that a positive change to the district has begun. Residents wanted to know how the County and State Education Departments had allowed the Lakewood School District to deteriorate so far over the past 10 years. The audience wanted to know how it is possible that there has been year after year of financial and/or accounting discrepancies. The audience was somewhat bitter that one program after another was cut from the public schools, as the cost of transportation continued to rise for private schools. The audience was confident that a Trade School in the High School was needed, as was band and sports. These activities teach students that they must prepare for the game or the event, as is the case in real life after graduation. The audience discussed the factions and differences in the population groups in Lakewood, and was concerned that meaningful reform may be hindered.

    My perspective on this is to wait and see how the new BOE, Administration, Attorney, Teachers, and all other employees of the Lakewood School District begin their process of embracing positive change. It is my suggestion that they examine all aspects of the accounting department, and set forth impenetrable accounting practices, free of political influence, to insure accuracy. They must inspire the staff to excel to the best of their ability. They must conduct the business of the district with mutual respect and accountability for all. They must demand excellence from all, and compensate the teachers and other employees at a fair rate. They must open a dialogue with representatives from all segments of the district, to ascertain all of the strengths and limitations that exist in the district. Then must understand and distill all of the data in order to seeking remedial actions.

    This will not be accomplished over night, and even though there is a high expectation of immediate positive change, lasting change is completed at a slower pace. It is imperative that all segments of the Lakewood School District come together to address all of the issues, discuss the issues with an open mind, insure fairness and durability, keep their focus on the students, and in making the Lakewood School District a better district for all the students.

  2. Bill

    Will Mr Fink ever stop telling us all that everything is going to be better now? Its nice he goes to all these meetings but come one His actions will speak, please tell him to stop blaming michael for all, that is history.
    W/O michael this district has no boss he ran this place and demanded excellence from the every single person, they respected his opinion. I don’t see how its going to work now.

  3. Well after the APP finishes its reporting on the lakewood BOE & school fiasco maybe it will get the attention of someone in trenton if there are not some real POSITIVE Steps made to correct the disastrous lack of leadership that we have witnessed which has led to the present state of the public school

  4. Bill you say “The audience was confident that a Trade School in the High School was needed, as was band and sports. These activities teach students that they must prepare for the game or the event, as is the case in real life after graduation. ”

    I think there need to be more stressed the RRR
    The three Rs (as in the letter R) are the foundations of a basic skills-orientated education program within schools: reading, writing and arithmetic.”

    The rest is all fluff. There needs to be accountability. RRR will give students life skills not band and sports…… Taxpayers don’t need to pay for all the extras….

    To teacher – I’m glad you feel Micheal had your respect. That was because there was no one running the board, now there are board memebers who will actually run the meetings and make decisions that will hopefully bring education to the forefront of the public schools.

  5. The most important element in education is RRR. Having said that, it is also important to have activities, where students learn team activities and the importance of working together.

    The district objective is to prepare each student for adulthood, where the individual is self sufficient, and hopefully will have earned a high school diploma. To a great degree, this is not now occurring, but it must in the future.

    Graduates that have taken on education, are more self sufficient and well off that those that do not complete the high school experience.

    Extra curricular activities are part of the program, and it adds to the high school experience. Not every child is college bound, but they still must be prepared for post graduation. The trades are in need of skilled workers. I hope that they can start the learning experience in the Lakewood School District.

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