BREAKING: Romano quits before Day 1

3/2/2010:

Romano Bails

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want Romano to be the next Superintendent of Schools, he now says he no longer feels “comfortable” with Hoboken and has withdrawn his name from consideration.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.

2/10/2010 Update:

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.

Dr. Frank Romano Hoboken Superintendent

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.

1/26/2010:

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 board of education Superintendent Finalists Forum January 26 2010 7pm

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?

You decide.

Leave a Reply

122 Comments on "BREAKING: Romano quits before Day 1"

tburns
Member

He is on the agenda to be hired as Superintendent of the Franklin Lakes school district.

northjersey.com/news/education/9242..._Franklin_Lakes_superintendent.html

Maybe it’s just me, but…don’t all these people seem better off: Jack Raslowsky now principal of a prestigious high school; Anthony Petrosino a university professor; Lorraine Cella an Assistant Superintendent; and Romano becomes CEO of a K-8 for almost the same $$ and a LOT fewer headaches.

NOT working for the Hoboken Public Schools seems to be a career enhancing move.

HOB424
Member
HOB424

Petrosino didn’t just become a “university professor” after leaving Hoboken. That was his occupation before he came here. He took a leave of abscence from there, because he was recruited by Raslowsky to work here. Then he just went back to his professor position.

In response to tburns who said:
He is on the agenda to be hired as Superintendent of the Franklin Lakes school district.

northjersey.com/news/education/9242..._Franklin_Lakes_superintendent.html

Maybe it’s just me, but…don’t all these people seem better off: Jack Raslowsky now principal of a prestigious high school; Anthony Petrosino a university professor; Lorraine Cella an Assistant Superintendent; and Romano becomes CEO of a K-8 for almost the same $$ and a LOT fewer headaches.

NOT working for the Hoboken Public Schools seems to be a career enhancing move.

HOB424
Member
HOB424

Did anyone hear that another district hired him and he agreed to work there for a starting salary that was $1,000 less than he would get from Hoboken??

HOB424
Member
HOB424

Hopefully the next candidate will have had more classroom experience.

BarbaraR56
Member
BarbaraR56

ITA! Hopefully the next candidate will more experience in just about everything that is required to adequately earn the respect that is due a Superintendent. I’m happy Dr. Romano chose to leave before he started, at least we got to see what he was all about before lunancy ensued.

In response to HOB424 who said:
Hopefully the next candidate will have had more classroom experience.

BarbaraR56
Member
BarbaraR56
JMO but it appears after reading the Hoboken Reporter, it appears the only hostility is on the part of Dr. Romano. The BOE acquiesced to his request by allowing him to negotiate his contract with the trustees directly (not the Board attorney) he now reconsidered his position stating “no respect for the Office of Superintendent” and his dislike of a 3 month notice if he does not live up to the expectations. One month per year of service for the amount of years worked. So another timely and probably costly search continues. The BOE’s choice clearly was the wrong one, and with 3 seats up in April, Dr. Romano was worried that the majority might change. Why? Is he that insecure that he could not carry out his assignment? Please if the rumormill is true, he was asked to leave Millburn, Ft. Lee for reasons listed as “not a good fit”. This supposedly “fit like a glove” and he still refused. What a mockery he made of this district or should I say the BOE trustees? What else does he want? Hopefully the next candidate will be well screened and properly interviewed with the all TPTB including a contract negotiation with the Board Attorney. Nice move KF, admit your error and now rectify it in whatever you can. You are now creating your own hostility within the district with the Administrators, Faculty, Staff and parents and who suffers the kids. Wake up.
oceanbloo
Member
oceanbloo
See my post above directed to TBurns. You are blaming KF as a unit when they did not vote as a unit. I don’t understand your thinking, I really don’t. You and TBurns are hell bent on crapping all over Kids First, even if what you are saying makes no sense at all. KF isn’t perfect, but you and your crew already had a chance to fix up this school district. And look what we have to show for it. As someone with kids in public school, I feel that at least KF is trying, if not always succeeding. On the other hand, it is clear from your posts and from TBurns’ ridiculous posts (“look how Dr Cella was treated!”) that all you care about is jobs for your friends and neighbors. In response to BarbaraR56 who said: JMO but it appears after reading the Hoboken Reporter, it appears the only hostility is on the part of Dr. Romano. The BOE acquiesced to his request by allowing him to negotiate his contract with the trustees directly (not the Board attorney) he now reconsidered his position stating “no respect for the Office of Superintendent” and his dislike of a 3 month notice if he does not live up to the expectations. One month per year of service for the amount of years worked. So another timely and probably costly search continues. The BOE’s choice clearly was the wrong one, and with 3 seats up in April, Dr. Romano was worried that… Read more »
BarbaraR56
Member
BarbaraR56

I am in no way an authority of the selection process of a Superintendent, hearsay has it that Dr. Romano was asked by the Supt. of the Millburn district to “stay home” for the remainder of his contract. Again hearsay he spent only about a year in Ft. Lee, it doesn’t appear that Dr. Romano cracks under pressure if the gossip mill is correct, it appeared he caused a lot of dissension (sp). So maybe this time he decided rather than go through more hostility (surprising since 7 of 9 trustees voted in favor of him) he would just not take the position. I know most of the posters here think that Mr. Totorella should not get it, just give it to him. He is experienced in the district, if KF made a mistake, I agree just own up to the mistake and move on. Not choosing Mr. Tortorella because he is BNR or had associations with the former administrations is ridiculous. The pay-out for him when he retires is required by his contract. So now another costly search, a frustrating transition, and everyone in the district suffers. All of a sudden there is dissension in KF majority? Why? It’s confusing to me, so I can just imagine how confusing it is to the staff but most of all to the students and their parents. Hopefully this will be a one-time mayorality and board.

elvisroberts
Member
uh, can someone tell me why this board of ed miss-step is the mayor’s fault? i’m all for calling a spade a spade, but it sometimes seems like we are blaming zimmer for bad weather, cold french fries, and late postal deliveries…. In response to BarbaraR56 who said: I am in no way an authority of the selection process of a Superintendent, hearsay has it that Dr. Romano was asked by the Supt. of the Millburn district to “stay home” for the remainder of his contract. Again hearsay he spent only about a year in Ft. Lee, it doesn’t appear that Dr. Romano cracks under pressure if the gossip mill is correct, it appeared he caused a lot of dissension (sp). So maybe this time he decided rather than go through more hostility (surprising since 7 of 9 trustees voted in favor of him) he would just not take the position. I know most of the posters here think that Mr. Totorella should not get it, just give it to him. He is experienced in the district, if KF made a mistake, I agree just own up to the mistake and move on. Not choosing Mr. Tortorella because he is BNR or had associations with the former administrations is ridiculous. The pay-out for him when he retires is required by his contract. So now another costly search, a frustrating transition, and everyone in the district suffers. All of a sudden there is dissension in KF majority? Why? It’s confusing to… Read more »
tburns
Member

Zimmer has endorsed KidsFirst – which is why I have referred to this group as the Zimmer Board of Ed. Zimmer and her campaign organization will again be supporting the KidsFirst slate – hence the invitation she sent out to attend the KidsFirst kickoff on Sunday. Does that mean she is to “blame” for “this board of ed mis-step” – that depends on your perception of what happened.

In response to elvisroberts who said:
uh, can someone tell me why this board of ed miss-step is the mayor’s fault? i’m all for calling a spade a spade, but it sometimes seems like we are blaming zimmer for bad weather, cold french fries, and late postal deliveries….

oceanbloo
Member
oceanbloo

Stop with the KidsFirst already.

The only 2 who voted against Romano (“this board of ed mis-step”) WERE KIDS FIRST MEMBERS.

All of the non-KF crew voted FOR him.

In response to tburns who said:
Zimmer has endorsed KidsFirst – which is why I have referred to this group as the Zimmer Board of Ed. Zimmer and her campaign organization will again be supporting the KidsFirst slate – hence the invitation she sent out to attend the KidsFirst kickoff on Sunday. Does that mean she is to “blame” for “this board of ed mis-step” – that depends on your perception of what happened.

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