Board Hires Two Principals, Creates District Athletic Director Position

New principals of George Washington and Lafayette hired. Superintendent says new athletic director will reduce expenditures and better address issues such as player safety.

The hired two principals Thursday night and created the position of district athletic director.

The personnel decisions are the first in a series of moves to reorganize the district’s administrative structure in mutliple schools and departments.

Officials that the principals of four schools were resigning, retiring or would not have their contracts renewed.

George Washington Principal Mary Jane Tierney, a 40-year district employee, .  Principal Scot Beckerman  on the job. 

Jack Leonard will be the new principal of George Washington. He has a Master’s degree from .

Leonard will be paid on a per diem basis of more than $600 a day from July 16 to July 31. He will be paid his annual salary of $147,000 starting Aug. 1. 

Toni Schito Ferry will take over as principal of on Aug. 1. Her starting salary will be $139,000. She holds a Master’s of Science in Education from Mommouth University. She will replace Stella Cosmas.

Robert Mitchell, principal of , will not return to the district next year. His contract was not renewed, said Board of Education President Donald Pavlak Jr. 

Mitchell, was of the school in December 2010. He was vice principal there for 12 years and has more than 30 years experience in education.

Residents were critical towards officials of the decision not to renew Mitchell's contract.

"Kids are happy, teachers are happy. My daughter loves going to school and it's because of him," Rex Mitake said. "The man has brought the school together. Look at where the school is academically."

Pamela Tilli, a mathematics teacher at Schuyler-Colfax, said that morale at the school "has never been higher" and that the board should rescind its decision.

The board also created the position of district athletic director and abolished the position at each high school. The individual will be in charge of the athletic programs at both Wayne Hills and high schools.

As part of the reorganization, the board not to renew the contracts of Wayne Hills and Wayne Valley high school Athletic Directors Chris Olsen and Dan Kilday. Both men made more than $120,000 at their respective positions, according to public salary records.

Superintendent Ray Gonzalez did not provide an exact job description or say how much the individual who accepts the position would make.

Gonzalez noted that having a single athletic director will “further enhance our efficiency at utilizing resources” and will result in an “appreciable, consistent reduction in expenditures.” He added that having one person in the role would “more effectively and thoroughly” address player safety issues, professional development, and the evaluation process for coaches and trainers.

Olsen at Hills next year as a physical education teacher and football coach. He will retire as a physical education teacher at the end of the school year. Gonzalez previously said Olsen could return as football coach for the 2013-2014 season if he so chose; athletic coaches do not have to be full-time employees of the district.

Olsen will try and win a ninth state championship next season with his son under center at quarterback.

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

C. Dogood May 19, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Whats astonishing is the recital of arbitrary rule issued by the BOE through the president censuring the free speech of the attending public. Where is the ACLU protecting the constitutional right of every american to question the use of tax dollars? Can the residents of Wayne be laying down to accept this affront?
C. Dogood May 19, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Sound familiar ... On May 17, 2010 the New Jersey Supreme Court upheld the Appellate Division's decision that the West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District (Board) violated Plaintiff, Philip Besler's first amendment rights, when he was gaveled down and silenced at a Board meeting for no other reason other than the unpopular viewpoint he expressed. This decision will have serious freedom of speech implications for all boards of educations in New Jersey, and likely all public Boards throughout New Jersey. freedom means free!
Cathy Kazan May 19, 2012 at 08:28 PM
The paragraph related to speech in the agenda is totally out of line. At a meeting where the Board President was chastising the public for not communicating, he was reading a statement that basically defined communication as illegal. Unbelievable! Of course, the statement is wrong. I expect it to be changed and I will be vigilant until it is. This Board has one of the worst records of open governing that I've seen in years. When was the last time anyone saw a PWS? They don't have them. Why? I sure would like to know. Why is all business being conducted behind closed doors. I've been asking why the public are not allowed to attend committee meetings. Never received an answer other than "NO". The gentleman who was writing letters in Wayne Today about offering solutions was allowed access that isn't granted to anyone else. Why? We all have to OPRA information, that we would prefer to receive answers to publicly. It's clear that citizens have ideas and solutions, but it is hard to offer them when we don't know what's going on. I don't think it's asking too much to know what is being considered before it reaches an agenda for a vote. These items are supposed to be discussed at the PWS, which is open to the public. At least, that is how it used to be.
Dory Degen May 19, 2012 at 08:52 PM
i miss donna summer.
Justice May 19, 2012 at 10:12 PM
The ACLU doesn't take cases in predominantly WASP (white anglo-saxon protestant), upper middle class towns, no matter what the constitutional violation. Of course, they will never admit to this.
Justice May 19, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Could you please clarify what PWS means in this context? Thank You
Justice May 19, 2012 at 10:18 PM
1)Perhaps one of the "constitutional law" firms could be convinced to take this case on a pro-bono basis? 2)There are more than enough attorneys in this town who may just want to take this project on. 3)Additionally, Rutgers law school has a constitutional law clinic which may be interested.
Justice May 19, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Al, thank you.
Cathy Kazan May 20, 2012 at 12:23 AM
@Justice PWS stands for "Public" Work Session. That is what the second meeting each month is supposed to be. They used to have lengthy agendas and items were discussed openly before decisions were made at the "Regular" meeting. Now for some unknown reason they are all referred to as "Regular" meetings. All of this occurred after the last election.
Pad May 20, 2012 at 03:04 AM
In Wayne, PWS stands for "Private Work Session" NO PUBLIC ALLOWED. How else are they going to plan and concieve how to BS the Wayne taxpayer. These behind close doors have to go. The minutes of these meetings should be available to the public. The BOE in Wayne needs a full investigation into all its fianancial and buisness decisions by an independant goverment agency. What goes on in this town in unbelievable. It is a disgrace. They are all political wannabe's. Look at the Mayor and Town Council members, almost all are former BOE members. The recent fee for use of facilities is a joke. They got caught with their pants down, the public isn't buying into it and all Cerberio has to say is "We should have planned this better". What he really means is, the board could care less about what you think. We are doing this any way. The non-profits can't afford to pay these high fees. They are not at all reasonable. Maybe they should all boycott the use of these facilities all together. Then see what the BOE does with the loss of income.
Rex miatke May 20, 2012 at 11:34 AM
Guess when I asked at the B.O.E. meeting about the 600.00 per day for Jack Leonard at G.W. being on the agenda and was told that it was a rumor, I was misinformed. Approval of Appointment of Per Diem Principal H-12-23 -RECOMMENDED ACTION: "that the Board approve the Superintendent's recommendation to approve for the 2012-2013 school year, Jack Leonard, per diem principal, $607.62 per day, effective July 16, 2012 through July 31, 2012, no medical benefits, George Washington Middle SchooL"
Rex miatke May 20, 2012 at 11:43 AM
My question to Jack Leonard would be why such a short time at Woodcliffe Lake. He seems to move district to district.
Rex miatke May 20, 2012 at 11:44 AM
Potter why only a year at Woodcliffe lake???
Justice May 20, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Jack Leonard: http://www.northjersey.com/news/125123728_New_principal.html
Justice May 20, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Cathy, Thanks
Potter May 20, 2012 at 05:16 PM
I'm not sure why Leonard only stayed at Woodcliff Lake for a year but I heard from a Wayne Teacher that he had been on the short list for the position at Schuyler Colfax before they decided to appoint Robert Mitchell. Perhaps the salary and benefits are better here. And from what I can see from the article Justice provided, Leonard began his contract at Woodcliff Lake on August 1st. I would think that Wayne has to pay him per diem until July 31st because he probably can't enter into a new contract until August 1st of this year.
Al Scala May 20, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Potter.....why do we need him to start in July? There are no students in school. Only people there are the Principal, Ass't Principal, possibly some guidance people and the janitorial staff. Why couldn't we get one of our other administrators to cover, such as an ass't principal from another school or somebody from Nellis Drive. It's only two weeks After all, these people are being paid very well. Why not save $6ooo.plus. Let him start Aug 1.
Nose Wayne May 20, 2012 at 05:54 PM
8 Hours x 76 dollars =608 Dollars we are paying this principal to look out the window and watch the birdies fly by. July 16 thru July 31= SUMMER VACATION. WASTE,WASTE,WASTE!! ATTABOY AGAIN BOE
Al Scala May 20, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Just don't understand why we need to spend thiis money. We have administrators in 14 schools as well as a host of well paid people in Nellis Drive. You mean we couldn't get someone to fill in for two weeks? You've got to be kidding me! Where is the fiscal management here? Do we have the luxury to do this? They cut the outdoor lab, still don't have a full day Kindergarten, etc., etc., and they want to flush down the toilet $6000.
Nose Wayne May 20, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Al,Why do you have to have a principal in a school if you do not have any students? Is it to watch the cuatodians? They have supervisors for that.
Al Scala May 20, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Nose Wayne.....I'm not certain of this, but I think the Principals work 11 months. I think they get 4 weeks vacation, although, I'm not really sure of this. Why can't we have the Ass't Principal cover this 2 weeks. I'm at a loss here why they are bringing this guy in 2 weeks early and paying him over $600/day.for a total of about $6000. Something is not right here! This is a total waste of money.
Al Scala May 20, 2012 at 08:58 PM
As one of our female trustees said, he's cute and adorable! I'm really glad that's a criteria for hiring a Principal.
Nose Wayne May 21, 2012 at 03:23 AM
Al, I will say it again 'There is the right way and the wayne way.The carnival is moving from OLV Church to 50 NELLIS DRIVE! Have to go on the GONZALES-GO-ROUND
Rob Burke May 21, 2012 at 09:50 AM
Six grand is plenty enough to build a Victory Garden with a chicken coop to replace the Outdoor Lab, in part...
Nose Wayne May 21, 2012 at 10:37 AM
Rob, The Outdoor Lab behind the BOE has plenty of room for a chicken coop and a beautiful GARDEN! Children need to learn what this town used to be like. Farming and gardening! If i remember correctly, it still says it on everyones plates on their car-GARDEN STATE!!
Rex miatke May 21, 2012 at 10:52 AM
Time to start a petition. Bring back outdoor lab to our children. Why bus them to the Meadowlands when you have such an amazing outdoor lab right in your town. The town is paying 6.00 for each 4th grader to go to the Meadowlands. Why??? B.O.E. Cut one of the best school programs for our children and then use the money to give raises to the folks on Nellis.
Al Scala May 21, 2012 at 11:32 AM
It seems when the BOE Trustees want something, money is available. When the Taxpayers request something or want something to stay, ( Environmental Lab), there is no money. They are sensoring us or limiting us to what we can say at a Board meeting. They're telling us maybe they'll answer our questions, maybe not. What type of Board do we have?. This is absurd. These people need to go. From Ceberio right on down. Each and everyone of them need to go. Bring back some fiscal sanity. Bring back the quality education we used to have here in Wayne.
Nose Wayne May 21, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Al Scala May 21, 2012 at 12:57 PM
In keeping with my post above, there is money in the budget to hire a PR firm, to buy laptops for the Board, and to pay a brand new principal $6000 to work 2 weeks over the summer. I also heard over this past weekend that the Board office is getting all new furniture! I guess new furniture takes priority over the outdoor lab! I certainly hope that the furniture thing is not true and just a rumor.
Nose Wayne May 21, 2012 at 09:47 PM
AL,Watch for the moving truck!!


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