Process to replace Meloche expected to take four to six months
The wheels are in motion to locate an interim school superintendent when Joseph Meloche leaves in June.
Meloche – superintendent of Cherry Hill schools since August 2015 – has been appointed superintendent of Pennsylvania’s Rose Tree Media School District.
Solicitor Paul H. Green gave an overview of the next steps at a school board meeting on March 28.
“There are two tracks we are pursuing,” he explained. “The board needs to locate and retain services of an interim superintendent. There is a cottage industry of retired superintendent of schools out there who basically go from district to district and come in as an interim.”
Green said the district wants an experienced superintendent, preferably from a large district in or out of the state. The board agreed to work with a small, local recruiting firm as it conducts its search with guidance from the New Jersey School Boards Association.
“Our goal is not to have someone to be a placeholder,” Green noted. “Typically, an interim superintendent will serve for a full school year.”
The board wants to hire for the role within the next 60 days so the new interim leader will have transition time with Meloche before he leaves. It will consider several more search firms that specialize in hiring for the role of a permanent superintendent.
“That is a very intensive and very thorough process,” Green said. “The firms that the board will be looking at are all very experienced in this area in terms of engaging the public, staff, the students – basically all our stakeholders.”
Green added the best-case scenario is for the extensive hiring process to take four to six months. Ultimately a selection will be made from a pool of candidates. From there, the board will have to negotiate a contract and the new superintendent will have to be approved by the Camden County executive superintendent.
Township school board President Miriam Stern said it is a sad, yet exciting time for members.
“We have had four permanent superintendents in the past 20 years, several interim,” she pointed out. “It’s a new process for us because we haven’t had a new superintendent in eight years.”
The board plans to officially recognize Meloche for his service to the district in June. He has 30 years of experience as an educator and was named the state’s superintendent of the year in 2021.