The Vernon Township Board of Education on September 15 approved Rosemary Gebhardt to immediately take over as acting assistant superintendent through December 16.
Gebhardt will receive an additional payment of $100 per day as part of the new role. She was approved by a 4-0-2 vote, with school board members Justin Annunziata and Joe Sweeney abstaining. Board members Martin O’Donnell and Jennifer Pellett were absent.
Gebhardt will temporarily replace Russell Rogers, who has been named acting superintendent since the retirement of former Superintendent Karen D’Avino.
The school board also approved a separation agreement and letter of resignation, citing retirement, for an unidentified employee.
Vincent Gagliostro, the district’s director of curriculum and principal at Walnut Ridge, was also approved as the district’s administrator in charge of personnel through November 9 for an additional $100 per day.
The Board of Education took the first step toward finding a new superintendent with a presentation from Kathleen Helewa of the New Jersey School Boards Association.
Helewa helped facilitate the search that brought D’Avino to the district in 2018. Helewa outlined a three-step process that is projected to take about 18 weeks.
“The timeline does not drive the decision,” Helewa said. “This is too big of a deal. This will impact your students and your district for many years. You cannot settle on this.”
The first would be preparation in which the district can develop a budget for the search, develop a calendar, criteria for the new superintendent, solicit input and then advertise the position.
The second step would be collection, which Helewa said could take four to six weeks. During that time, the school board would receive and review applications, hold two to three rounds of interviews, and narrow the candidate pool.
The third and final step would be selection, which could also take four to six weeks. During that time, the school board would conduct reference and background checks, visit the candidate’s district, if feasible, negotiate a contract with the desired candidate, and ultimately make their decision.