Meeting gives update on Moorestown superintendent search

Firm has been hired to help board of ed. recruit candidates

CHRISTINE HARKINSON/Special to The Sun: An entrance sign at Moorestown High School, adjacent to William W. Allen Middle School, was the site of a special board of education meeting where members discussed the search for a new school superintendent.

Moorestown Township’s Board of Education held a special meeting on Sept. 14 that focused in part on potential candidates for the open school superintendent position.

In order to assist the board through the transition, the township has retained the firm Hazard, Young Attea & Associates (HYA), according to the district website. HYA is a consulting business that specializes in assisting school boards in identifying and recruiting executive level educational leaders.

“I want to take a minute to thank the whole school community for their willingness to participate in this process and determine the desired characteristics for our next superintendent,” said Board President Caryn Shaw. “This has really helped guide HYA in screening candidates and will help the board in our interviewing process.”

“It was a lot of work done in this short amount of time, but we thank Stacey and Bill Adams, who are here today, and Monica Brown, also a part of their team, for their extensive work on doing this,” said Shaw. “They were able to bring us a strong pool of candidates.”

At the meeting, Adams presented an overview of the candidate field to show the number of candidates and facts about them. About 54 possible candidates were logged into the district system, but only 41 submitted an application.

According to Adams, out of those candidates, 23 are current superintendents, nine are assistant superintendents, four are directors or executive directors, three are principals,  and one is an adjunct professor. About 21 of them are from New Jersey; seven are from New York; six are from Pennsylvania; two hail from Maryland; one is from Michigan; and some are from Nevada, Virginia, and Florida.

“The Michigan and Nevada people have New Jersey experience, so they were in New Jersey at one time,” said Adams.

Of the total applicants self-identified, the number of males is 25 and the number of females  16. About one-fourth of those who successfully submitted an application — or about 10 people — closely match the desired qualifications approved by the board, and the next step will be to closely evaluate those candidates using five types of documents; a self-introduction written in the third person; the candidates’ letters of interest and resumes; their applications; and what references said about them.

Also at the meeting, Moorestown resident Jill Fallows Macaluso, mother of three daughters who all attend district schools, addressed the ongoing issue concerning the dress code.

“There is quite a bit of buzz in the parent community over the dress code, and I believe it needs to be immediately revisited,” said Fallows. “The answer is to revisit and reflect on this antiquated document and adopt a more modern dress code that promotes appropriate dress and encourages a healthy and respectful school environment.”