Dr. LeRoy Seitz will leave his position as superintendent of schools for the Parsippany-Troy Hills school district as of May 15.
The announcement came after most attendees of Tuesday night's BOE meeting at Parsippany High School had already departed, as the board had moved into closed session to discuss personnel matters.
Upon the members' return to public session, it was announced that Business Administrator Robin Tedesco and Seitz had both tendered their resignations and that the board would have to vote upon them.
Tedesco, who started in her post just last month, will leave the job in April. She did not state a reason for her departure.
The board voted to accept both resignations and to approve the hire of Philip McGuane to lead the PHS football Red Hawks for the 2013-14 school year. McGuane replaces Guy Bertola, who left the position after the football season due to what he called a "falsification" on his resume.
Seitz declined comment.
The superintendent became the focus of controversy and contention over his contract, which the board approved in 2010 and rescinded more than a year later under pressure from the state Department of Education.
In the brouhaha that grew to a fever pitch over the disputed pact, which violated a superintendents' salary cap imposed by Gov. Chris Christie in Feb. 2011, media were awash in stories of BOE squabbles, lawsuits and Christie's labeling of Seitz as a "poster boy of greed."
Despite the controversy, the harsh criticism he received from some town residents and board members, and his lawsuit against the school board and the state Department of Education over the contract awaiting a judge's decision, Seitz continued working to move the district forward in technology and in boosting student achievement.
Vice President Sharif Shamsudin said he was surprised that Seitz opted to retire.
"This was a shock, but we've got to look forward as a district and move on, making sure our students are taken care of," he said. "I'm sure we'll find suitable replacements for both positions.
"I respect the fact that Dr. Seitz wants to retire," he said. "We're going to do our job as a board to make sure the well-being of our students and the district are in place."
Member Anthony Mancuso, who defended Seitz during his protracted contract battle over the past two years, said Parsippany will miss the superintendent more than some may realize.
"I'm very sad to see Dr. Seitz make the decision to retire at this time," he said. "I think it will be a great loss to our district. While I am happy for him and his family that he is able to retire and move on, I have my concerns for the hole it is going to create in our school district.
"I hope the board recognizes the difficulties it is about to face in trying to find a new superintendent."