Board of Ed. Appoints New WOHS Principal

BOE remains tight-lipped about Superintendent Anthony Cavanna's Suspension.


West Orange High School officially has a new principal. 

Hayden Moore was unanimously appointed as principal of the high school by the Board of Education at its meeting on Monday in the WOHS library. 

Moore has been in the district for the past 15 years, of which 12 years have been at the high school. He has held various positions during his tenure there, including dean of students and, most recently, assistant principal. 

“There is no place like home,” said Moore to a crowd of more than 100 teachers, staff members, administrators and parents who turned out for the appointment that evening. 

Moore will be replacing Arthur Alloggiamento, who served as the high school principal for the past 10 years. Alloggiamento will continue to work at the high school until August 31. He was also present to see Moore appointed at the meeting on Monday.  

Moore emphasized that he will need students, parents and teachers to maintain and advance the high standards already in place at the high school. 

“I want you to understand that this is a shared responsibility,” said Moore. “I can push the engine, but I am going to need people to help drive it. 

“... Faculty: I want a renaissance. ... It’s about collaboration. You know I can’t do it without you.” 

The board set Moore's salary at $150,017.20, and he will begin serving as principal September 1.  

The appointment came less than a week after the board pending an investigation. According to the board, interim Superintendent Donna Rando made Moore’s recommendation.  

Even before Cavanna was suspended by the board, Moore’s . Cavanna had issued a press release on July 2 stating he intended to recommend to the board Moore's appointment.  

Cavanna was not present at Monday's meeting

Board President Laura Lab addressed the recent tumult in the district, stating that the district is in a “state of transition.” Reading a prepared statement, Lab said that the board was unable to comment further about Cavanna’s suspension or deciding not to renew his contract after it expires in June 2013. 

“We ask for your patience as we comply and adhere to the processes,” said Lab. “But, please, I must stress, these were unanimous decisions by the board in its entirety. Tonight our district will be entering into an new era ....”

Marie DeMaio, principal of Washington Elementary School, also weighed in with her own comments about the state of the district. Moore’s appointment, she said, should be seen as a symbol to unify the district and move it forward. 

“This evening, as [Moore] is appointed the principal,” said DeMaio, “we must move forward as a district with Hayden as the leader at the high school. That is the most important thing we must do now.”

Ken July 24, 2012 at 07:41 PM
So after the "processes" run their course, will someone THEN tell us what happened? Or will there continue to be a veil of secrecy over the entire thing? It's just about time for someone to leak what's happening here, because otherwise there's a nasty whiff of "we're doing it for your own good but we can't tell you why, just trust us" to the entire thing. The fact the vote was unanimous makes it seem likely, at least to me, that there IS a good reason ... so let's have it already!
barry_geltzeiler July 24, 2012 at 07:41 PM
@Jake my issue was that when Ray's candidates got attacked on HIS forum he shut it down and reopened after the election. In my opinion he was being subjective and not objective as a moderator should be. So I disassociasted myself from the WOW and when i saw him here figured I would give him a little heat. As usual he can't take it and sends in the US Marine (no distrespect intended) to come after me. One of the most valuable things I have learned by experience in is you dont fight a US Marine or a wrestler!!! No hard feelings Jake or Ray as you guys know I like to bust chops and can take plenty of heat myself.
Gary Englert July 24, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Raymond, Were your comments "tongue in cheek?" Not at all and you may be secure in the knowledge that your place as the equivalent of FOX News (in West Orange) remains secure! :-)
Jake Freivald July 24, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Actually, I asked him to leave it open, and he felt that it had gotten too heated and, as moderator, wanted it to cool off. And he cares little enough about people's perception that he didn't react when other people said he did it for political reasons. You won't find a more balanced moderator than Raymond. Certainly not when some of The Usual Suspects attempt to dominate forums here, on nj.com, etc. I don't have any hard feelings, Barry, but sometimes I do feel that the passion you take such pride in sometimes causes you to lose your objectivity.
Jake Freivald July 24, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Unfortunately, Ken, "nasty whiff" or not, it would literally be illegal for the BOE to tell us anything at this point. I think the only person with the legal right to tell us about the charges is Dr. Cavanna, and he'd be a fool to do so whether they were true or false.
Gary Englert July 24, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Jake, While respectiving the idea that you jumped to the defense of a (blatantly) political ally, I just think effort was totally unecessary...and I had no reason (or incentive) to comment at all until you did. I also think it hilarious that the point I was making went over your head...or are you ducking on purpose? By the way...this isn't a launch countdown and you aren't the arbiter of when a discussion is over...just a participant with the same free will and right to speak as the rest of us.
barry_geltzeiler July 24, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Point well taken Jake, but I never claimed objectivity and as a poster not moderator i shouldnt have to!!! Actually when the WOW got heated is when I got interested. Its too calm for me I like the Roman Colesium when they feed the people to the Lions!!! JK LOL
Raymond Helfrich July 24, 2012 at 08:00 PM
News Flash, Bar: ALL the candidates (and some of the members!) got attacked, when I was ([failing at] experimenting, and) trying to allow more latitude in the discussions! Yes, on (what has always, obviously been) MY forum. (You know, the one in which I keep pleading with people to share facts, [so that I can learn] about the town, and not opinions, of each other?) I suspended the activity in the conversation group, for a while, as I had tired of trying to get some people to be civil. Now I am refreshed. And frankly, I'm still glad that you have "disassociasted" yourself from it! Cheers! RH
Ken July 24, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Isn't it odd that in every other arena of public life, reporters ferret out secrets, leakers leak, and the public has some at least perceived right to know what's going on? Somehow, only in the world of education, everything's a state secret and no one ever finds out anything. (See: South Orange/Maplewood's recent Donaldson hearings.)
Gary Englert July 24, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Ken: The answer is simple, really; school board activities are local matters of local interest and local media lacks the resources and (sorry) talent to provide the kind of investigative journalism necessary to get the beans spilled.
barry_geltzeiler July 24, 2012 at 08:12 PM
as usual Ray, you take it all personal and cant handle the heat... some things never change
Gary Englert July 24, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Jake, Well, I'm sure you won't agree but, the "usual suspects" really would prefer civil discourse and spend most of their time refuting absolute nonsense and anonymous character assassination...which approximates what you suggest Raymond's role is as moderator of the watercooler.
Jake Freivald July 24, 2012 at 08:19 PM
"While respectiving the idea that you jumped to the defense of a (blatantly) political ally" Actually, while you may respectiving anything you like, I nudged one *friend* about his words toward another. I understand you have a hard time thinking in other-than-political terms, but you'll just have to try to get past that if you want to empathize with ordinary human beings. (See? I have a sense of humor. :) Whether it's good or not is a matter of taste, I suppose.) And I know I'm totally not an arbiter of anything on these forums. And happy about it! Which is why the countdown isn't me saying that a discussion is over, but merely a friendly jibe at how predictable you are in your inability to stop responding to people. I wonder if that comment will affect your incessant and overwhelming desire to have a comeback to everything everyone says. Let's experiment: 1...2...3... :)
Jake Freivald July 24, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Hey, all this interpersonal junk aside: Congratulations, Mr. Moore.
Gary Englert July 24, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Ken, While I can't attest to its absolute accuracy, this article details the process: http://www.nj.com/hunterdon-county-democrat/index.ssf/2012/03/lebanon_borough_school_superin.html Further, recent court rulings affirmed the public's right to discovery (through OPRA if not released by the relevant Board) of filings concerning tenure charges and dismissal of a superintendent of schools...following the conclusion of such proceedings.
Gary Englert July 24, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Jake, Actually, while many talk some of us actually do and, as I'm enroute to a meeting with NJAI at OSPAC...towards briefing them on how the facility should be operated and maintained...I'll continue this conversation later...if necessary.
barry_geltzeiler July 24, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Yes Hayden Moore is the right choice and WOHS will flourish
teacher July 25, 2012 at 02:58 PM
I know that this is a dialogue for men, but I will make a few points. Many of you are getting upset that people do not post their names. What if you are an employee/teacher? We are tired of the fact that you cannot be promoted unless you are very nice to someone. We are also tired of the fact that everyone else get raise except for teachers. I am here over 10 years, but no promotion. I showed up for work at 7 am and leave late in the afternoons. My students excel. I am so ashamed that under Dr. Cavanna, he used reverse discrimination to promote some principals and supervisors. Some of us are dying inside, because we have to walk the hallways acting as if we are pleased with everything that they do. I know we can do better as a district, but who really listens to us. I am asking the acting superintendent to get an outside firm to conduct a teacher evaluation to find out how many of us are please with what has been happening. People who are apart of the failure, are kept and promoted as principals. Ask any teacher, whether black, whites, Indians and Hispanic, and privately they will tell you that our input are not given much consideration whe decisions are made for the students. Special education children are not the problem as you are lead to believe, many work very hard. Dr. Rambo said, 42% of the students who went to 6th grades had adv, prof, on NJASK. So why are many children failing NJASK 1 year later. We all know that we need firm principals, I am disappointed.
teacher July 25, 2012 at 03:39 PM
I have never received so many phone calls in one week, as I did last week. We need a contract. We need opportunities to be promoted. I am not jealous of anyone, but we need a great superintendent who will dialogue with the teachers,and make administrators accountable. I do not know what happened why Dr. Cavanna was let go, but he is a much better administrator than Dr. Rando. I am disapppointed with the comments made by Paul and Michelle at the BOE meetings, because they used I too many times. Yes your children did great, but I thought Mr Pettgrov son was in special education. So Mr. P, if your son excelled in special education in West Orange, and the system is racially mixed, why is it that the spec ed, children cannot do well now? Have you considered the fact that many of these children came to us from middle class homes, like yours? I see some of these children and they work so hard, because they know that they have to do it. Please ask any special education children, and their dream is to get out. This one student, I remember very well, he came to special education after testing proficient on NJASK, and he cried, but you have to let him sit a certain way in the class, because he processes things slower than some children. Sweetest little boy! I can not blame him for the systematic problem. His mother wanted him to do NJASK prep, and the principal decided that he should not do it, for no logical reason. Please stop the stereotype, we work with these children.
Gary Englert July 25, 2012 at 07:31 PM
teacher: One of the many problems with anonymous posting is that the people that they name do not have the opportunity to confront their accusers; more on that in my response to your follow up post (below). As to issue you have concerning your employment/promotion/raises, aren't you a member of a collective bargaining unit? Accordingly, shouldn't you address your issues with your union leaders and representatives? Clearly, that's likely to be much more productive than doing so here.
Gary Englert July 25, 2012 at 07:36 PM
teacher: This post is a prime example of why anonymity is problematical for many of us. Here, you're making pointed public criticisms of two Board board members who aren't even a party to this conversation and alleging they made comments not submitted in evidence by any credible source. Your commentary is also completely off topic.
Gary Englert July 25, 2012 at 10:23 PM
@ Jake Freivald: Contrary to your belief, I don't "have a hard time thinking in other-than-political terms," and, in this case, simply acknowledge a typically hardheaded Jarhead when I see one. :-) Not much political about that, is there?
Ryan July 26, 2012 at 01:32 PM
C'mon Gary. And the exhange among you, Jake, Barry and Raymond in this very thread was ON topic? Not in the slightest. Give teacher a break. You're right about the problems raised by anonymity (exemplified here as you say) but it is also true that people need to be able to express their opinions on public affairs without putting their jobs at risk. A public school teacher has reasonable grounds to be wary when weighing in on a subject like this.
Gary Englert July 26, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Ryan, This stream went off topic with Barry's needling Raymond, then teacher took it in another direction. I addressed her comments fairly reasonably and succinctly, I think, and the fact that her comments here won't result in the relief she seeks is manfiest. Clearly, berating school Board members or one's perceptions of the internal politics of their workplace, on an Internet message board, serves little if any purpose...other than to vent. teacher belongs to a union and should address her workplace grievances there if she hopes for any positive outcome. The back and forth between the rest of us knuckleheads was (I think) largely with humorous intent.
barry_geltzeiler July 26, 2012 at 02:20 PM
i just love pushing Rays buttons, it just so damn easy!
Vicki Russo July 26, 2012 at 02:55 PM
I am happy Hayden Moore will be the new principle at WOHS. I am very proud of his leadership and his concern for all student, faculty and administration employees. I think HE is the ONE person that can make the HS a great place to work and learn for all in attendance. Thank you Mr. Moore for accepting this position and I know you will work very hard to make the WOHS the best learning facility it can be.
john anthony prignano July 26, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Teach ,I'm sure it's me , but alot of your letter is difficult to understand ; You write " We are tired of the fact that everyone else get raise except for teachers." One raise when there are 1100 employees seems like much ado about nothing .You write " I showed up for work at 7 am and leave late in the afternoons ." Stating that you showed up once for work at 7 am does not impress me . You write" I am asking the acting superintendent to get an outside firm to to conduct a teacher evaluation to find out how many of us are please with what has been happening " I don't understand . I thought teachers were evaluated annually . I think a survey is what is called for here .".Please with what has been happening " seems to be an appeal of some sort , but you don't finish the thought. You write" People who are apart of the failure are kept and promoted as principals ". Here we agree. People who are apart - seperate - from the failure, SHOULD be promoted . You write "Ask any teacher, whether black, whites, Indians and Hispanic, and privately they will tell you that our input are not given when decisions are made for the students " Is there only one Black teacher and one Hispanic teacher in the District ? " Our input are not given " . I am embarassed to admit it, but I did not know " input " is also the plural form of " input " I do not know what " As you are lead to believ " means.. Also, I am not familiar with a School Board member named Mr. Pettgrov son.
john anthony prignano July 26, 2012 at 05:36 PM
You write "Sweetest little boy ! I can not blame him for the systematic problem. " Of course not . In fact , I would not blame him for the systemic problem either . Thank you Teach ,thank you . Your postings have exposed a great deal of what is wrong with the educational system in our country . And you have done it much better than I ever could. Thank you so very very much
CC Minton July 30, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Dear Teacher, Thanks for your comments. I can understand why you would not post your name. Hopefully the issues will be resolved.
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