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Fishbein Says He Plans to Stay After Contract is Up

The superintendent would face a pay cut of over $60,000 if he renews his contract in Ridgewood after it expires in summer of 2013.

The Ridgewood school board hopes superintendent Daniel Fishbein sticks around after his contract expires in summer of 2013, with school board president Sheila Brogan stating at a recent board meeting that the . 

The feeling appears to be mutual.

"I am thankful to the RBOE for their confidence in me," Fishbein said in an e-mail to Patch on May 23. "At this point in my career I plan to stay."

During his four-year tenure, policies have been updated, improvements made to teacher evaluations, a successful , along with "excellent" staff and administrators brought on to oversee new curriculum and programs, he said.

Should Fishbein, a long-time Ridgewood resident with kids in the schools, choose to renew his contract with the district, he'd be among the few who are willing to take a drastic paycut due to the state's cap on superintendent pay.

Fishbein, currently making over $227,000 a year, while overseeing Bergen's largest school district.

"It would be unusual for someone to take that kind of paycut," said New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA) Executive Director Richard G. Bozza. "A lot of people are quietly just going by saying I want my contract to be over and retire."

Since the caps were implemented in 2010, many of Bergen's most experienced administrators have either fled to New York or retired.

In April, Glen Rock Superintendent David Verducci announced his plans to retire two years before his contract was set to expire. Verducci cited personal reasons and not the cap as cause for retiring, but the district is now facing the difficult task of replacing him with $70,000 less dollars.

The district while it searches for a permanent replacement, one officials expect will be far less experienced than Verducci.

Because of the superintendent caps, some top school officials are finding suboordinates clearing more in earnings, Bozza said.

"We're going to continue to see a trend of people saying, 'Instead of taking a pay cut, I can do something else or go to another state or retire,'" he said. "We're losing a lot of experience at the top."

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor James Kleimann at James.Kleimann@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

jp1 June 05, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Maybe these superintendents are worth more than the governor.
Ridgewood Mom June 05, 2012 at 12:31 PM
What an exceptional demonstration of character!
64bluecrayons June 05, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Wow, that much money and he didn't know who was the attendance secretary at GW!
RB June 05, 2012 at 01:13 PM
I hope he stays. Dr Fishbein has done an excellent job running our school system.
Mary June 05, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Please tell me you are not that naive...he has an adenda. I assure you.
Ridgewood Mom June 05, 2012 at 04:25 PM
What is that agenda? In any case, isn't it still a noble thing that he is willing to take a significant pay cut, that will effect his long term financial standing significantly, even though the job market for his line of work is much better on the other side of the Hudson these days?
scruffy June 05, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Ok but all the Superintendents in NJ are in the same boat. As each of their contracts come up this year they will all be making roughly the same amount As for crossing the border it depends on where they live as to whether or not that is an option for them. Keep in mind folks that the other administrators in the schools may now make more than the Superintendent with the current restrictions.
In The Wood June 05, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Really?!? Do you have any idea how many employees there are in the system? I would think it would be extraordinary if he could remember every one of them.
Douglas Cronk June 05, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Successful. Well qualified. Honest. Good family man. Resident. We're lucky to have him and I'm happy to hear he's staying.
Paul June 05, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Go to a Ridgewood BOE meeting any week of the month then tell us how much anyone of them is really worth? Been there done that! Not impressed over payed all around!
Rock June 05, 2012 at 08:51 PM
He has only said, "at this point, I plan to stay" -- doesn't mean he isn't looking for another job, or won't take another job at some point from tomorrow onward. Nobody in their right mind would say they plan to quit while his contract is about to expire and is up for renewal.
jp1 June 05, 2012 at 08:51 PM
What does it take to impress maybe you should try for the job.
Ridgewood Mom June 05, 2012 at 09:06 PM
I have no idea what a "fair" salary is for a superintendent. But it should be obvious how inconsistent Governor Christie's thinking is on the topic. He is not at all about reform or trying to improve public schools, but about cutting them. Of course, private schools and charters should be free to offer whatever salaries the market dictates. Never mind that the job market for educational administrators is the same job market across private and public sectors. Never mind that public schools on the other side of the river now offer higher extrinsic rewards for attracting talent.
Craig Hueneke June 06, 2012 at 04:30 PM
AMEN D.C. ol' boy! There is NO DOUBT that he is an asset to our community AND our children's future!
Joe June 06, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Are you still here? We're not too impressed by you either Paul.
Bob Hutton June 06, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Dan Fishbein is a man of total character. I am proud of the decision I was apart of four years ago to hire Dan Fishbein as our superintendent. The new mandate on superintendent salaries make it difficult for the BOE. The salary level due to the size of our district is set in relative stone. That value I believe is pretty much the same value offered to and accepted by the new principal at the high school. Ridgewood is not the high performing and one of the most cost effectively run districts in the state of NJ by accident. The talented administrators and staff we have make it what it is.

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