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Glen Rock Superintendent Announces Retirement

David Verducci to step down July 1; school board will begin search to replace him

Glen Rock Superintendent of Schools David Verducci on Monday announced his intention to retire at the end of the 2011-2012 school year, two years before his contract ends.

Verducci, who was hired in 2009 after a six-month search, asked that the school board accept his resignation at its March 26 board meeting. He had previously told school board members in closed session, he said.

"My reasons for this decision are entirely positive, albeit entirely personal. And simply said, my family needs me right now," Verducci said.

The superintendent, with over three decades as an educator in seven Bergen schools under his belt, will step down on July 1.

Jokingly, Verducci said he hadn't won a Powerball jackpot, nor was he eyeing a gubernatorial run. On a smaller scale, he remarked he also wasn't . He's retiring, simply put, he said.

"Most of all, I wanted to be clear that nowhere on my list is there any room for anything but good feelings about the three years I've spent here in Glen Rock," Verducci said, adding that his tenure has graced a time of sea changes in education but "extraordinary" accomplishment in Glen Rock.

"Now I know that there are some that would try to make some out of this that is not, so let me be emphatic on two points. First, this decision was mine and mine alone; no one outside my family was privy to this prior to a short time ago. And second, I am deeply indebted to the entire school community – the members of the board in particular – for having granted me the privilege of being part of this school district for the past three years. I am truly grateful and have no regrets whatsoever.

"As I believe we've passed that tipping point and begun that final ascent to becoming a 'lighthouse district.' I'm convinced of that. And since that's always been my vision for this district, it's gratifying to know that that symbolism has become the lingua franca for a real culture of achievement."

Verducci, in his address, requested the school board grant him a day in June to provide his final evaluation of the district to faculty and staff; present a five-year curriculum 'vision' to keep Glen Rock a top performing district long after he's departed; and finally, asked the board to do whatever is 'humanly possible' to keep graduation outdoors and on the high school campus this year.

School board president Rona McNabola said after the meeting that the district will begin an 'open' search process to find a replacement, though there is no definitive time table.

It will be a very different search than the one conducted three years ago, McNabola said. With the superintendent salary cap in effect, the top amount Glen Rock can offer is just under $158,000. Verducci currently makes $225,000 a year.

"We're losing an experienced superintendent," McNabola said. "The next [superintendent] may be much less experienced ... we're not making any assumptions but we have a general idea what we're looking for."

She did not outrule potentially having an interim superintendent during the search.

As for Verducci, he told Patch after the meeting that he plans on traveling the world (he's already seen 85 countries), learning French, mastering some culinary arts, spending time with family, doing work on his home and even publishing a children's book or two.

Verducci was named the 2011 Superintendent of the Year by the New Jersey Association of School Administrators' northern region.

John Hahn March 13, 2012 at 09:24 AM
This is the 2nd consecutive Superintendent not to fulfill his contract. I believe his predecessor went to another position locally. Plus there is the commitment he made to the class of 2014 that he would know all their names by the time they graduated GRHS. I guess that is now moot.
Rock March 13, 2012 at 12:21 PM
Yes, well, people make plans....and then life happens.
Jon Hendl March 13, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Just hope the new guy takes a harder look at the full spectrum of the educational experience. I mean, it's insane that kids learn everyday math in elementary school and then switch back to regular math in middle school. Too many unnecessary changes like that. 225k for a super in this district is way too expensive anyway. Wonder how his retirement now impacts the money residents will have to keep paying him vs the retirement costs if his pay was cut next year - does anyone know?
Elizabeth March 13, 2012 at 12:48 PM
John- Dr. Connolly's contract was not renewed. I am pretty sure he completed his term.
Elizabeth Cox March 13, 2012 at 01:27 PM
yes , i agree. it's shame i liked him. any dealings i had with him he was fair, honest & quite funny. i am disapointed to see him go. he had lunch with my son and when i met up with him 5 months later he knew exactly who he was(first & last name), his grade, what his favorite sports were etc.
John Hahn March 13, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Thanks, Elizabeth. I realized that Dr. Connolly who was not renewed, was in between Fletcher & Verducci. It was my error. I should not post at 5:30 AM. What does the search cost for a Superintendent? Would this be the time for us to SHARE a superintendent? If each school has a principal. Can't they run their programs as they are laid out? Let's go 5 years with no superintendent. We could save $1,000,000.
Chris March 13, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Finally, every child has a chance today for a brighter tomorrow...The Board has a challenge...to find a qualified Superintendent who can provide leadership and direction without sacrificing performance. Our schools have been falling behind over the past decade. The Middle School needs an overhaul as well. Students are not positioned to transition from Everyday Math to regular math. Students are judged unfairly on their ASK performance, especially since GR's curriculum does not fall in line with the test. Middle School students are falling behind (look at NJ Ask Scores for 7th Grade Math). Middle School honors classes are pre-qualifiers for many High School honors classes. The tracks that are established in Middle School make it nearly impossible for a student to develop in honors programs later in their Glen Rock career...simply stated, unless your child is labled "gifted and talented" in grade school, the opportunities for advanced programs in high school are virtually impossible. That said, does it surprise anyone why so many Middle School students elected to exit the school district for private school educations at IHA, AHA, Bergen Catholic, and Don Bosco? Outside of Glen Rock, every child is given every chance to excel. While the job of Superintendent is not simple by any means, let's face it, it's not like the GR Superintendent is tasked with security concerens, metal detectors, drug wars, truancy, dropouts, etc. Our school system is in need of direction.
Rock March 13, 2012 at 03:46 PM
The HS Director of Athletics makes about 130k (public record) and you think Glen Rock is going to find a Superintendant with the level of leadership, organizational skills, and educational acumen for the entire district for 157k ??? Dream on.
James Kleimann March 13, 2012 at 06:19 PM
How great a concern is there that the board is limited to about $157,500 in base salary? Are you confident someone as qualified and skilled can be found for that salary? I should also note that many other Bergen districts are looking for superintendents for the upcoming school year as well. It could be very competitive.
Rock March 13, 2012 at 06:42 PM
I think its best described as "quite a challenge" with the additional point you raise about other districts competing for the same talent. The School Business Administrator and the HS principal make more than the $157k indicated as the Superintendants cap. 3 other school employees make more than $140k And an additional 4 others make more than $130k.
John Hahn March 13, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Here is the question: Do we need a business admin who makes over $157? ROCK, of the other higher paid employees are they all admin. or are they teaching.
James Kleimann March 13, 2012 at 07:05 PM
What if we frame the question a bit differently: Is the superintendent more valuable than two well-paid teachers (each, say at $112,000 a year base salary)? One could make the argument given the total size of the budget (over $44 million), paying $225,000 for the top administrator is really small relative cost to taxpayers. Of course, $225,000 is still $225,000. Does that change things at all?
Rock March 13, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Hey John -- the highest ones are not full on teachers but principals, asst principals, director of guidance. So, I would view them as on the front line I suppose as their constituency is students, teachers and parents. Not sure if everyone would. There are about 20 or so teachers making over $100k. As far as the business administrator, I suppose the question might be more about how much value he has added for the district to offset his cost. I'm sure there might be disagreement on whether this should have been done or not, but the savings achieved via outsourcing the maintenance staff and the substitutes etc was probably managed by the Business Administrator. Given the budget, those initiatives were probably necessary. And I would expect to see more consolidation, and outsourcing. Otherwise, our taxes will continue to go up. I think the issue is less about going after everyone else that might be making what some view as alot, and recognizing that these compensation levels are probably not exhorbitant -- I think the real issue is probably the forced ceiling on what Glen Rock can pay an employee it deems as necessary. And of course I've probably contradicted myself by demanding lower taxes.....and so it goes. :-)
Beatrice Flores May 27, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Verudcci is and always was concerned with Verducci. It's a joke to portray the GR school system as anything but mediocre. Good luck, teachers at the HS...the incoming freshmen will turn your hair gray!!!!

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