Board of Education 7/24/2007 – Recap

Taxpayers and residents in general should be interested in what’s going on at the Hoboken BoE these days, since a large chunk of your tax dollars are being spent there.

Here’s a recap from the meeting this week.

The Board of Education met on Tuesday to review and approve a number of staff appointments and contracts for professional services. All nine members of the board were present.

Hoboken board of eduction

Report of the Superintendent of Schools

New schools superintendent Jack Raslowsky began by voicing his support for the two candidates recommended for principal at Demarest School and Hoboken High School. Mr. Raslowsky went on to say that working in his new position has been a great experience thus far and that he is enthusiastic about moving the school system forward with a new vision and new ways of thinking.

Moving on to business on the agenda, Mr. Raslowsky pointed out that the Business Administrator’s contract renewal did not appear on the agenda because of a 60-day public notice requirement that had not yet been fulfilled. He mentioned the termination of Anastasia “Stacy” Michaelides as Principal/Consultant of Demarest School, stating that hers was a year-to-year contract and that, while satisfied with her performance, the school was looking to move in a new direction.

Mr. Raslowsky then spoke about the recommended appointment of Dr. Anthony J. Petrosino to the newly-created position of Assistant to the Superintendent. Dr. Petrosino, formerly a science teacher in the Hoboken schools system during the 80’s and 90’s, will be taking a leave of absence from his position as Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He was awarded a M.A. in Educational Administration and Information Systems from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Education and Human Development from Vanderbilt University. As Assistant to the Superintendent, he will assist in teacher indoctrination and professional development, as well as in shaping the school curriculums.

Mr. Raslowsky concluded by stating that the search process was underway for a Director of the Early Childhood Program.

Report of the Board President

Board President Theresa Minutillo spoke briefly, praising Board member Tricia Snyder for her tireless efforts in reviewing the RFQ’s with the Finance Committee.

Superintendent’s Agenda

The Board voted unanimously to approve the following:

Dr. Anthony J. Petrosino, mentioned above, as Assistant to the Superintendent, at a salary of $140,000.

Dr. Lorraine Cella, as Principal of Hoboken High School, at a salary of $134,612. Dr. Cella has a M.A. in Education from Long Island University and a Ed.D. in English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She was formerly an elementary school principal in the Westwood Regional Schools system in Washington Township, NJ and is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University.

David Bailey, as Chief Information Officer, at a salary of $93,000. Mr. Bailey has a B.S. in Computer Information Systems from the University of Scranton and was formerly the Director of Information Technology at Saint Peter’s Prep in Jersey City. Among other duties, Mr. Bailey will be responsible for upgrading and updating the Hoboken schools website – http://www.hoboken.k12.nj.us/

Joseph R. Morano, formerly of Scarinci & Hollenbeck, as In-House Counsel, at $130,000 per annum.

Paul Stabile, continuing as Assistant Business Administrator, at a salary of $125,000.

The Board voted 7-0-2, with Francis Rhodes-Kearns and Carmelo Garcia abstaining, to approve the following:

Thomas Fitzgibbons, as Principal of Demarest School, at a salary of $137,886. Mr. Fitzgibbons has a M.A. in Special Education from New Jersey City University and has completed Post M.A. programs in Educational Leadership and Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant from Montclair State University. He was formerly the Vice Principal at Demarest.

The Board voted 2-5-2 (Yes: Farina, Garcia; No: Markle, Raia, Snyder, Rhodes-Kearns, Minutillo; Abstaining: Gilliard, Romano) to deny the following:

Periann Santana, as Food Program Coordinator, at a salary of $47, 549. Ms. Santana is currently a clerk in the Connors Elementary School. Board members questioned the timing and scope of advertising for the position, and asked that the position be resubmitted for applications. Also, the job description is basically that of a clerk. School clerks typically make up to $25K, so the proposed salary is being called into question.

School Board Administrator’s Agenda

The Board voted 7-0-2, with Francis Rhodes-Kearns and Carmelo Garcia abstaining, to approve the following:

Engineering – General: Boswell Engineering, South Hackensack, NJ

Engineering – General: PMK Group of Farmingdale, NJ

Architect: Mount Vernon Group Architects, Inc., Woburn, MA
Health Insurance Consultant & Insurance Broker: Business & Governmental Insurance Agency, Inc., Woodbridge, NJ

Workers Compensation Third Party Administrator: Compservices, Inc., Philadelphia, PA

Accounting & Consulting: Donohue, Gironda & Doria, Bayonne, NJ

Auditor/Accounting: Lerch, Vinci & Higgins, Fair Lawn, NJ.
Board member Frank Raia commented that he would have been more comfortable in awarding the auditor/accounting to the current firm, Garbarni, stating that their bid amount was the same and that they had been doing a good job. Board member Tricia Snyder explained that the application presentation from LVH was superior and explained its fee structure more clearly.

Public Portion

No members of the public asked to speak.

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16 Comments on "Board of Education 7/24/2007 – Recap"


Hoboken4th
Member
Hoboken4th
9 years 1 month ago

Urbano is a NY lawyer and has just taken the NJ boards so he is not qualified yet. Hopefully he will pass and be someone that would be available to the Board should they need someone, he could be a great asset.

Reality is the RFQ process saved the Schools significant money versus last year and increased the services being delivered.

Unfortunately the BoE is alot like captain of a huge crusie ship. You make a turn but you do not feel it right away. But over time the ship is in a much different direction than it was when they boarded.

In just a few months they have met and execeeded what Kids First has promised. Hopefully they will get more than just one year to continue to pursue the direction we are so in need of for the future of Hoboken.

Foster
Member
9 years 1 month ago

Thanks…I forgot about Tricia.

reggie
Member
reggie
9 years 1 month ago

[quote comment=”36737″][quote comment=”36717″]Who is the reform majority? I thought the reformers were Theresa, Ro, Carrie and sometime Fran. That’s four. Who is the fifth?[/quote]

The “Reform Majority” is comprised of Theresa Minutillo, Tricia Snyder, Rose Markle, Carrie Gilliard, and Francis Rhodes-Kearns. So far, Frank “Pupie” Raia seems to be casting his votes with the reformers as well.

[quote comment=”36725″]What reform is taking place? They are still awarding big contracts to the same politically-connected hacks. They just hired another Scarinci attorney for $130K a year.[/quote]

At first I was a bit uncomfortable with that as well. However, Joseph Morano left Scarinci & Hollenbeck to work as in-house board attorney, and his salary is considerably less that the $200K+ that was spent for the firm last year. For what it’s worth, he comes across as a decent and fair guy, based on my observations of and conversations with him.[/quote]

He might be a decent guy, but is he qualified? Brooklyn Law School and Scarinci aren’t exactly overwhelming credentials. Also, I am very skeptical that the move will result in cost savings as much of the Board’s legal work will still be farmed out to Scarinci.

In any event, why not offer this position to some with credntials, someone like brian Urbano. Not saying he’s interested, just throwing out the name of a local lawyer with an impressive resume.

estevens
Member
9 years 1 month ago

[quote comment=”36717″]Who is the reform majority? I thought the reformers were Theresa, Ro, Carrie and sometime Fran. That’s four. Who is the fifth?[/quote]

The “Reform Majority” is comprised of Theresa Minutillo, Tricia Snyder, Rose Markle, Carrie Gilliard, and Francis Rhodes-Kearns. So far, Frank “Pupie” Raia seems to be casting his votes with the reformers as well.

[quote comment=”36725″]What reform is taking place? They are still awarding big contracts to the same politically-connected hacks. They just hired another Scarinci attorney for $130K a year.[/quote]

At first I was a bit uncomfortable with that as well. However, Joseph Morano left Scarinci & Hollenbeck to work as in-house board attorney, and his salary is considerably less that the $200K+ that was spent for the firm last year. For what it’s worth, he comes across as a decent and fair guy, based on my observations of and conversations with him.

reggie
Member
reggie
9 years 1 month ago

[quote comment=”36707″][quote comment=”36703″]No apparently the reporter is right on this one. According to my neighbors there were TWO other times in board history that reformers were majority but both times when they tried to put in new administrators not from Hoboken, abd the superintendent AND mayor at the time opposed them and hundreds of people would come to the board meeetings to protest. [/quote]

You and your friends are completely correct in your history. The point I had hoped to make was that Supt. Raslowsky is being successful — so far — because the Board and he both see the need to change. A related point I also thought (perhaps mistakenly) that I was making is that without the backing of the Reform Majority, he wouldn’t have had such smooth sailing.[/quote]

What reform is taking place? They are still awarding big contracts to the same politically-connected hacks. They just hired another Scarinci attorney for $130K a year.

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