BREAKING: Romano quits before Day 1
Dr. Frank Romano is bailing on Hoboken.
Despite support from 7 of 9 Board of Education members who want Romano to be the next Superintendent of Schools, he now says he no longer feels “comfortable” with Hoboken and has withdrawn his name from consideration. Apparently a 3-year contact with a $190,000 starting salary and 3.5% annual raises wasn’t enough for the first-time Superintendent, who got cold feet when he saw how criticism from dissenting board members Maureen Sullivan and Carrie Gilliard led to an active public discussion of whether he was actually the right man for the job.
An active public turns Romano off
Romano was supported by the newest board members (Irene Sobolov and Ruth McCallister) as well as the longest serving (James Farina and Carmelo Garcia) but apparently couldn’t stomach public criticism of his selection. Romano used the excuse of an inability to come to terms on a contract renewal clause to bail on Hoboken. Sullivan and Gilliard were critical of the Romano choice and advocated for a more extensive search before breaking from “Kids First” over the choice. Gilliard is not seeking re-election, so her opposition to Romano would not have been a factor once he took the reigns from Interim Superintendent Peter Carter.
What now? Back to the search process.
Romano’s decision to bail could mean Carter could be asked to stay on the job longer while the search resumes for a new Superintendent. Yesterday 13 people filed to run for 4 board seats up for election in April. The choice of a new Superintendent may not be made before the new board is seated.
Romano chosen to be next Hoboken Schools Superintendent
The Hoboken Board of Education chose Dr. Frank Romano to be the next Superintendent of Schools at it’s meeting last night. The vote was 7-2 in favor of awarding Romano a 3-year contract starting at $190,000 with raises pushing that to over $203,500.
Maureen Sullivan and Carrie Gilliard were the two dissenting votes breaking from Kids First allies Rose Markle, Theresa Minutillo, Irene Sobolov and Ruth McCallister, who voted with Jim Farina, Carmelo Garcia and Frances Rhodes-Kearns in favor of Romano.
The final choice was between Romano and Dr. Gayle Griffin, but it’s been well known around Board of Ed circles that Romano has been the inside favorite. Romano was even quoted on a Bergen County news website Saturday saying he was offered the Hoboken job and was “in the process of negotiating a contract.” He had a two-year contract in Fort Lee, where he was an Assistant Superintendent. A native of Bogota, Romano’s career has been largely spent bouncing around districts in his native Bergen County. After nine years in the Ramsey district as a high school English teacher before becoming a staff developer. Romano spent six years as an assistant to the superintendent in Tenafly and one year as assistant superintendent in Millburn before coming to Fort Lee. Hoboken will be his first Superintendent position.
In case you’re curious who the Hoboken Board of Education privately picked as their two finalists for Superintendent, head on over to the Hoboken High School auditorium (8th and Clinton) tonight at 7pm.
You can meet Dr. Gayle Griffin (who lives in Newark) and Dr. Frank Romano (who resides in Fort Lee).
Hoboken BoE Superintendent Finalists Forum
“All residents of Hoboken are invited to interact with the two finalists for the position of Superintendent of the Hoboken Schools. Each candidate will spend approximately 45 minutes with the public, and after giving some background information will respond to questions. NJSBA Search Consultant, Susan McCusker, will facilitate the meeting.
Those in attendance will be able to share their impressions of the candidates with the board, which has the responsibility for making the final decision.”
Is this yet another display of “we pretend to be transparent” in Hoboken, when they already know who they’re picking regardless of what residents have to say?