Jefferson Township school superintendent Dr. Kathaleen Fuchs moved up the date of her retirement to April 1, from the original date of July 1. The approved the motion at a special meeting on Tuesday night.
The process of searching for a new superintendent has officially begun. The board is aiming to have a new candidate in place by the middle to end of March. To that end, it approved the hiring of West Hudson Associates to conduct the search.
West Hudson is headed by Dr. William Librera, a former New Jersey commissioner of education.
“Dr. Librera has conducted many successful superintendent searches and placed several candidates in New Jersey, “ board member Frank Cuccio said. “He has a lot of contacts in the state, and we are hoping he can recruit for us as well.”
Board member Robert Feldmann added that West Hudson would be able to choose the best candidate from a possibly more limited pool.
“When Dr. Fuchs came on board, we had between 40 and 50 applications to look at,” Feldmann said. “Now, with the salary cap, the pool will be more limited, and we think West Hudson will be able to help us find the best candidate.”
West Hudson’s fee for the search service is $7,000. This does not include the cost of running an ad in newspapers, which will cost approximately $2,000 - $3,000, according to board business administrator Dora Zeno.
West Hudson was chosen over two other competing search firms, School Boards and McPherson and Jacobson, an Omaha, Nebraska-based firm.
“We felt that West Hudson and Dr. Librera have the best experience and most contacts,” board president Ron Smith said. “We will give them our criteria and tell them exactly how many candidates we want to see, and they will complete the preliminary screening for us.”