Superintendent Search Ramps Up for District

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After a "board retreat" last week, where the Board of Education members met with who might become the head of the search committee for a new district Superintendent, we received the following message to the community and thought we'd post it here. There is no name attached but it brings to light one important issue: after being named the best Superintendent in the County and then announcing her retirement, Terri Sinatra has given Metuchen families an opportunity to make some major changes in the District hierarchy. Here is the note we received, in full:

Terri Sinatra's announced retirement gives us a once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity to shape our schools by selecting a great new superintendent from anywhere in New Jersey  or the USA.

We need a broad search, with public input.  Soon the Board of Education may give us indications of its intentions in this regard.  Let's insist on an open, wide-ranging search for candidates, particularly among the pool of New Jersey administrators such as principals and superintendents in other towns who would love to come to our beautiful borough and help nudge it toward greatness.  We can find an extremely capable administrator with a proven track record, e.g., of taking an average or above-average school or school district and making it better. 

Let's remember what former Mayor O'Brien noted as the triad that supports Metuchen: our train service, our downtown, and last but not least, our schools.  Your property values are at stake when the Board of Education selects a successor to Ms. Sinatra. 

Beyond an initial selection committee to screen applicants, why not have a very public set of forums in which the finalists may meet the public (at the high school and online), answer questions, and offer to all of us a vision of where they would take our schools in the years ahead.

To some of us, the ideal candidate would have not only relevant experience but a well-demonstrated passion to create excellence.  He or she will understand and navigate bureaucracy with great skill but not be a bureaucrat.  She or he will be "driven" but by more than careerist ambition.  The ideal candidate will inspire us. 

Please feel free to circulate this letter and this request for a genuinely public process.

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