Wallkill Valley school board launches superintendent search

Board of Education hires N.J. Boards Association representative to seek replacement for Edward Bolcar


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Wallkill Valley Regional High School has found a service to guide the Board of Education in the hunt for a new superintendent.

At the Feb. 25 school board meeting, members voted to enlist the help of Robyn Meehan, a New Jersey Boards Association Field Service Representative, to assist in the search.

Meehan met with board members just hours before the regular public meeting and presented an overview of the process. During her initial visit, Meehan explained the role of the board, administration, staff, and community during the search, as well as a tentative calendar, considering the district’s anticipated timeline to hire of a new superintendent to replace Edward Bolcar when he retires on July 1.

“She’s going to set up a transition team with staff and the board to make the new person, him or her, comfortable in their position,” Board member Ronald Neal said.

At a cost of $6,500, plus the cost of advertising, the program will many of the work involved with looking for and, ultimately hiring, a superintendent. Meehan will conduct forums for the community and staff on the district’s strengths and weaknesses, compose a profile to evaluate candidates and those qualifications, and place advertisements in various news outlets. The board will be notified of the progress throughout the preocess, as Meehan reviews applications and places them in three distinct groups: does not meet criteria, meets minimum criteria, and exceeds criteria.

At this point, the board will be able to review applicants and conduct interviews.

“It takes away a lot of the rumors and vagueness that’s out there that we are hand-picking somebody," school board president Guy McHugh said. "Once the applications are broken down into groups, that is when we are able to see the applications."

Neal said he knew within 10 minutes of the meeting the school board should hire her.

"It's a no-brainer and I think it's the best $6,500 we've ever spent here."

While the process may be time consuming, board members said they feel that using this search process will be worth it in the long run. Although it would be ideal to find a candidate by the time Bolcar retires on July 1, board members are not aren’t ruling out using an interim superintendent until they find the right person for the job is found.

The last time a Sussex County school used the NJSBA for a Superintendent search was at Hopatcong High School in 2012.

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