Montclair BoE Most Likely To Hire Interim Superintendent to Cover the Summer

BY  |  Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 2:51pm  |  COMMENTS (15)

With Montclair Superintendent Frank Alvarez leaving the district at the end of this school year to go to Rye, NY, the BoE has been busy trying to find a replacement. It’s a big position and not easy to fill in a short time, especially when Governor Christie has imposed a salary cap on superintendents. Dr. Alvarez made $250,000 in the position, but it will now offer $175,000.

So how is the replacement process going? BoE President, Shelly Lombard, explains:

It will be virtually impossible to hire someone by July 1…that’s only 90 days. Most candidates must give 60 days notice to their current district. So that would leave us only 30 days to (1) do focus groups with residents (to hear what they want in a superintendent); (2) then conduct a nationwide search; and (3) then interview candidates (possibly 2 rounds).

It is more important to get the right person than it is to get someone fast. So we are targeting Sept 1 and we plan to hire an interim to cover the summer.

We would prefer to hire an interim who is familiar with the district and who is not a candidate for the position.

Although I was not on the board when we hired Frank, my understanding is that he started November 1.


  1. POSTED BY Conan  |  March 29, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

    Did anyone else read the fine print / legal notices in the Star-Lecher last weekend that detailed hundreds of positions in Essex County? Assistant Administrators making $180K, all sorts of postions with indecipherable titles making large money. Do we really need all of those people on our payroll? Why can’t the math teacher be a part-time Guidance Counsellor? He or she probably knows what’s going on in the students’ heads better than a psych major a couple of years out of college. And don’t get me started on Focus Groups — read Steve Jobs on that subject…

    Okay, End of rant. I feel better now. Almost cocktail time… HOLLY!

  2. POSTED BY walleroo  |  March 29, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

    I’ll do it. I’ve got some vacation time.

  3. POSTED BY Montclair Lover  |  March 29, 2012 @ 6:09 pm

    $1/4 mill a year! For what? Doesn’t this position have several secretaries? And several assistants? “To make important decisions”? (Whether to call a snow day or not?) Doesn’t the BOE decide on policy, etc.? This is not an “educator” but an “administrator.”

  4. POSTED BY Georgette Gilmore  |  March 29, 2012 @ 6:25 pm

    Montclair Lover,

    Dr. Alvarez is an educator and it takes an educator to be a Superintendent, at least a good one.

    I can’t help but get angered by the outrage over someone who is responsible for an entire school district, especially one like Montclair, making $250,000. It is a lot of money, hell I wouldn’t mind having that income, but it a position with a lot of responsibility.

    I know many professionals and/or people who work in finance who make more than this. Are you outraged by that?

    And Conan,

    “Why can’t the math teacher be a part-time Guidance Counsellor?” Because a math teacher is educated to teach math. A guidance counselor is a completely different position.

    The respect for the field of education is saddening. Especially in an area where parents expect the schools to be #1.

  5. POSTED BY complainerpuss  |  March 29, 2012 @ 6:59 pm

    Governor Christie makes $175,000 a year. He is the 4th-highest-paid governor in the United States. Just putting things in perspective.

  6. POSTED BY croiagusanam  |  March 29, 2012 @ 7:14 pm

    250K a year is too much for the chief executive of an enterprise with hundreds of employees and tens of millions of dollars in budget? And nine sites?
    Wow! There better be some cost-cutting among CEOS in the private sector!

  7. POSTED BY Georgette Gilmore  |  March 29, 2012 @ 7:14 pm

    Governor Christie also receives a $75,000 stipend and housing, both residential and for vacation. So he does make more than the superintendent.

  8. POSTED BY croiagusanam  |  March 29, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

    Unbelievable is the only word that comes to mind when confronted by someone who thinks that the biggest decision a school superintendent makes is calling a snow day. Or who thinks that BOEs decide on policy.

    BOEs vote on policy, polocies that are, when not state-mandated, crafted by administrators. When boards meddle and try to dictate policy, you get a mess. When they hire a competent professional and allow him/her to take the lead in running the system, you get a better result.

    I’m always amused when the same people who decry the slide of a school system do so while denigrating the importance of the work, and the professionalism of those who do it, within the system.

    Hell, anyone can do it! Let’s elect Newt and then, after the kids clean the schools, they can be “super for a month”!

  9. POSTED BY Tudlow  |  March 29, 2012 @ 9:27 pm

    ♥ you GG and croi.

  10. POSTED BY willjames  |  March 29, 2012 @ 10:13 pm

    I stand with Georgette and Cro on this. I’m getting sick and tired of the disrespect directed toward the teachers, staff, administrators, and BOE members in this town. It’s pretty clear that this district is one of the strongest in the state, but you’d never know it from the constant (and condescending) negativity expressed in the comment threads here. Those of us who may have been quiet (or silent) “Baristanet lurkers” in the past need to speak out and stand up for the educators in Montclair when / if they’re being inaccurately characterized or unfairly maligned.

    And by the way, I’m not an educator, nor am I related to anyone who has anything to do with the Montclair school system.

  11. POSTED BY walleroo  |  March 29, 2012 @ 10:58 pm

    All these “same people” denigrating educators? Oh, please. You’re shooting fish in a barrel.

    Alvarez was not well liked. Frankly I’m glad to see the back of him. A little worried about who they’re going to find to replace him, but not sorry to see him go.

  12. POSTED BY willjames  |  March 29, 2012 @ 11:33 pm

    Okay, Walleroo, but so what are some of the particulars? Why was he “not well-liked”?

  13. POSTED BY agideon  |  March 30, 2012 @ 1:09 am

    “Those of us who may have been quiet (or silent) “Baristanet lurkers” in the past need to speak out and stand up for the educators in Montclair when / if they’re being inaccurately characterized or unfairly maligned.”

    Speaking at a BOE meeting might also be useful. Not all, but many are there either complaining about something or asking for something. Too rarely does anyone get up there and say “job well done”.

    Someone actually did this at the last BOE meeting, which caused me to realize that I’d not heard anything like that in a long time.

    At a smaller level, parents of children still in the schools can get involved in an MFEE “toast” for a teacher (or other staff member). This supports both the schools and the teachers that make them possible.


  14. POSTED BY croiagusanam  |  March 30, 2012 @ 6:19 am

    Well, he was liked, but not “well-liked”, says Wally Loman.

  15. POSTED BY walleroo  |  March 30, 2012 @ 9:13 am

    Yeah, and I’m also worth more dead than alive.

Leave a Reply

Baristanet Comment Policy:

Baristanet has specific guidelines for commenting. To avoid having your comment deleted -- or your commenting privileges revoked -- read this before you comment. Violators will be banned from commenting.

Report a comment that violates the guidelines to For trouble with registration or commenting, write to

Commenters on are responsible for all legal consequences arising from their comments, including libel, infringement of copyright or actions that threaten a third party. By submitting a comment, you agree to indemnify Baristanet LLC, its partners and employees from any legal action arising from your comments.

In order to comment on the new system, you need to register a new Baristanet account. To get your own avatar next to your comments, sign up at

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Follow, Friend, Subscribe