Superintendent Chosen for West Orange Public Schools

Selection will be approved at April 28 Board of Education meeting.

Jeffrey Rutzky
Jeffrey Rutzky
The West Orange Board of Education is pleased to announce that the superintendent search is completed and has met the timetable benchmarks established. At the Board of Education Meeting scheduled for Monday, April 28, 2014, Jeffrey Rutzky will be appointed as Superintendent of the West Orange Public Schools beginning July 1, 2014.

Mr. Rutzky is currently the Superintendent of the Roseland School District.   His previous experience includes middle school principal in the Parsippany Troy Hills School District, elementary principal in the Ridgefield School District and an assistant high school principal in the Teaneck School District.  Included in Mr. Rutzky's many strengths is the positive impact he has made on NJASK scores in the districts he has served as well as his understanding of the strong relationship between parent involvement as it correlates to student success.

Mr. Rutzky's recommendation is the result of a diligent superintendent search conducted jointly with the West Orange Board of Education and New Jersey School Boards Association. The process began in December 2013 with our search team from NJSBA conducting forums where input was encouraged from all stakeholders including the community, staff and the administration of all West Orange Public Schools. In an effort to further widen community input a survey was sent out for stakeholders to complete asking for characteristics preferred in the next Superintendent.

At the conclusion of the forums and with the completed surveys, the responses were compiled and given to the Board.  The Board reviewed the results and together with the NJSBA crafted the  search criteria.  The advertisement for Superintendent was posted in December as scheduled. After the close of the advertisement in January, 39 requests for applications for the Superintendent's position were received. Twenty-nine candidates completed the applications; 10 applicants did not. The Board reviewed the remaining 19 applications and found that 16 met the Board criteria. Thirteen of those had been Superintendents at some time in their career and three had served as Interim or Acting Superintendents.   The Board conducted first and second rounds of interviews of the top candidates in March and proceeded to check all references.

At our April 7th Board of Education meeting, the Board discussed the findings in closed session and selected a final candidate.  The candidate was then apprised of the decision.  At that time the Board's negotiations committee began contract negotiations with the candidate and his counsel.

Superintendent's contracts are standardized and have many statutory restrictions including a salary cap in accordance with the size of the school district which encompasses student enrollment numbers and whether or not the district includes a high school.  After revising and finalizing the contract, it was submitted to the Essex County Executive Superintendent for approval.

The Board was notified on Monday, April 21st that the Essex County Executive Superintendent has approved the four year contract. We are pleased to announce Mr. Rutzky will be appointed at the next West Orange Board of Education meeting on April 28, 2014.  In the coming weeks, information about a community meeting to meet Mr. Rutzky will be made available as details are finalized.


Sandra Mordecai

President West Orange Board of Education

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

friend of parsppany April 26, 2014 at 12:14 PM
He was in charge of one school where the socio-economics are through the roof. They should do well with their scores. Does he have a doctorate?
john anthony prignano April 26, 2014 at 01:06 PM
The Fairfield "School District" has 2 grammar schools with a combined student population of approximately 700. 2012 -2013; The Superintendent makes $175,000+. The Business Administrator makes $116,000. The Principal of one school makes $126,000+, and the Principal of the other grammar school makes $119,000. At the District Office , there is an Anti - Bullying Specialist earning $82,000. So 4 "Districts" with a combined student population of 3,700 have 4 Superintendents and 4 Business Administrators and Principals at every school but one. The public schools do not exist to educate children.
john anthony prignano April 26, 2014 at 01:22 PM
Fairfield 2013 test scores ; Third grade Language Arts Literacy 82% passed, math, 96% passed. Fourth grade 68% passed L.A.L., 87% passed math, 96% passed science. Fifth grade 61% passed L.A.L. 97% passed math. Sixth grade 82% passed L.A.L., and 88% passed math. There are some really outstanding math and science test scores here, but the L.A.L. scores are pathetic! 61% and 68% passing rates?!
john anthony prignano April 26, 2014 at 02:04 PM
Correction; The passing rate in math for the fifth grade is not 97%. It is 91%.
john anthony prignano April 26, 2014 at 03:05 PM
"39 applications were requested. 29 people filled out the applications. ten did not. The board reviewed the remaining NINETEEN applications" Isn't 10 from 39 29? Did Ms. Mordecai subtract the 10 non responders from 29? Anyhow, I see that the Board likes "His understanding of the strong relationship between parent involvement as it correlates to student success." Sixteen applicants had experience as School Superintendents, but the DEPTH of this guy's understanding of how crucial parental involvement is in the educational process blew the other applicants away. Can we anticipate a "Family income levels and the levels of parental involvement and community support are far more important factors in regards to educational success and failure than anything a school system can provide"approach?


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