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Seitz Resigns as Superintendent of Schools

New business administrator also resigns, and BOE hires new football coach.

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superintendent became the focus of controversy and contention over his contract, which the board approved in 2010 and rescinded more than a year later under pressure from the state Department of Education.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."

Mike February 15, 2013 at 02:55 PM
I did some researching and found out the the new football coach in his last year at South Plainfield was 3-7. Last year at Dunnellon High School as an assistant coach the team was 8-3 and played in the semi final game against Hoboken High School who eventually won the state championship. Also in 2007 South Plainfield played in the finals at Giant Stadium. It just takes a little research to find out facts and we all know that a 1-9-2 record can't happen. Only winning teams get to play extra games.
LGDIII February 15, 2013 at 03:23 PM
Oh well then I apologize Mike by all means let's create a job for this 3-7 head coach. Now it makes sense
friend of parsppany February 15, 2013 at 03:30 PM
Did not someone say he was fired previously? Lets hope this time fonti did a little research. In Parsippny they just put another warm body in their coaching positions. They have proven time and again to not check backgrounds. You might say they are lazy.
LGDIII February 15, 2013 at 03:48 PM
Its not the coaches position that is troubling (although it is) but more troubling its the fact that we can create a job in town paid for by us to fulfill the job. I guess no one can explain the process so I bid you adieu on this subject. I will support the coach 100% I want the high school's atheletics,academics, and reputation to all be stellar!! Go Redhawks!!!
friend of parsppany February 15, 2013 at 03:55 PM
Agree with u. Want kids to be successful. I am done to.
Kim Macaulay February 16, 2013 at 01:35 PM
If Dr. Seitz wanted to prove to the community that the students came first and he was worth his salary, he could have opted to stay until graduation. But instead he chose to take his unused sick/vacation days and leave the school high and dry on May 15th. People in the private sector do not get paid for unused days and people all over the world volunteer countless hours over the course of years...this is not a huge sacrifice. If he had made the decision to voluntarily stay the extra month, both his and the Parsippany BOE's tarnished reputation could have justified the excess in his value. His decision only intensifies the widespread belief of his greed.
THERESA February 16, 2013 at 07:55 PM
Everyone can be replaced. It is as simple as that. Not everyone is as greedy as Seitz. I find it sickening that action was taken to circumvent the pay cap - this shows lack of character, leadership and integrity. If teachers, students and parents have to pay a priceand compromise in this economy - so did Seitz- he is not better than us. There are plenty of folks seeking this position, and if the board members do their job right, it is not the position of superintendent that makes a good board of ed - it is the ENTIRE board of ed.
Kenneth Kaplan February 17, 2013 at 01:50 PM
Denise, let me inform you that a charter school is a public school. I quote from the NJ Department of Education website, "A charter school is a public school that operates as its own Local Education Agency (LEA) under a charter granted by the Commissioner. The New Jersey Department of Education is the State Education Agency (SEA) and sole charter school authorizer in New Jersey and is responsible for setting the standards for and holding current and future public charter schools accountable for providing New Jersey students with a high-quality public education." What charter schools do is provide parents with school choice for their children. While we have effective public schools in Parsippany, that is not the case in the Newarks and Camdens of the state, and charter schools can be a boon, not something to be denigrated.
Sick of the Bull February 17, 2013 at 02:57 PM
Seitz has nothing to do with the success or failure of our children. Lets be real here. The man is just another political scumbag. Success comes from quality educators, parental oversight and the willingness of the students to learn. If there was no super no one would probably know the difference. Let the boe do what they were elected to do.
friend of parsppany February 17, 2013 at 03:14 PM
I agree not sure how much impact the super has and Seitz really is not that impressive of a leader. Check his prior places and they were happy to see him leave.
John H February 17, 2013 at 09:59 PM
Looks Like Strumolo and "CREW" cost the Parsippany school system dearly...Superintendent resigns, BA quits because the "CREW" wont let her do her job...whats next!! They continue to cost the taxpayers more and more each week not to mention are going to decimate the education of our children with their self centered antics. . Mike Strumolo’s ignorance and belligerence continues to hurt the kids. Start the recall!! Strumolo, Carifi, Dinintinis, Golderer, Shamsudin and Martin ALL MUST GO!!!.. Get them out of office before it’s to late. Parsippany wake-up!! And a message to Hankey!! …Stop embarrassing yourself. We all see you at the land of Misfit toys, aka “The Gas Station”. Everyone knows you take your orders from Mikey. Please don’t embarrass yourself any more with listening to misguided individuals like this. Stop being his crony and do what’s right. Your to smart for that. 20 years ago you would do whats right and be your own person! What happened!!!
VietNam Vet February 18, 2013 at 07:23 AM
We know very well what we had, and that wasn't much with that money grubber. We are glad to be rid of them, we should raise out a flag and be thrilled now. He had to go no matter what the courts decided.
VietNam Vet February 18, 2013 at 07:28 AM
To Beth B, the schools have been in terrible condition for years, yes I'll give you that, but you don't have to far to look than at Wendolowski, she held the purse strings and thought she was the "Queen Bee" on the board. We ar glad to be rid of them both and we can start clean now with a new board and see where we go from here, but I think they deserve a chance, just like anyone else before.
VietNam Vet February 18, 2013 at 07:31 AM
GOP, you have no idea what you are talking about, and if you're going to vote demoncrap next year, well then you couldn't have meen much of a GOP supporter. What were you a " RINO"?
Chuck February 18, 2013 at 04:29 PM
It's about time Seitz left. I am disappointed the Board of Education did not get rid of him before he had a chance to resign.
Scott Dean February 18, 2013 at 04:47 PM
John I am curious to your belief that the new BOE is costing the taxpayers so dearly,Have you been sleeping for the past 4 years? Pay close attention in the up coming weeks as to the real loss of funds that the former BOE cost you and the rest of us.
David Comora February 18, 2013 at 05:03 PM
Just read in NJ.com that our new school board approved a contract with teachers that gives them a 3% increase this year and a 2 1/2 % increase next year and a 2 1/2% increase the year after. Considering we are on a 2% capped increase each year, I'm wondering if this was a wise thing to do? Where will they be cutting the money from, in order to pay these increases which are above the 2% annual cap?
Kevin February 18, 2013 at 05:18 PM
First, 2% cap is on the budget as a whole, teachers' salaries do not make up the whole budget (granted it is the biggest line item in the budget likely). Second, this % increase does not take into account the savings we now get from teachers paying into their health benefits. No need to panic. The increase is minimal and very managable by the BOE.
steve revette February 18, 2013 at 05:36 PM
I guess we'll find out. Also don't we have to go back and pay them retro pay for the previous year. I know I'm probably going to get blasted for this I was really hoping for a pay freeze from the teachers this year. However at the same time Teachers raises work different then our raises supposedly. Apparently the 3 percent is a raise to the total amount of the teachers salaries. So say The total salaries for teachers in the District was 70 million. That would increase by 3 percent and then I don't know how it is divided among the teachers. This is what I was told by teachers I don't know if it is true or not.
David Comora February 18, 2013 at 05:47 PM
Thanks, Kevin...I was hoping the other cuts were offsetting this increase, to avoid cutting into non-salary items.
Kevin February 19, 2013 at 02:42 PM
It is true. Teachers work on "steps" and when they get salary increases each step gets a different % increase. It is my understanding that the teachers on the highest steps (the highest paid) got a very minimal % increase that may not even cover the health care cost increases they are facing. So these teachers take home pay may actually go down in the new year. And they will be paying retro pay to the teachers. They don't have a choice on that matter. But this is why I always argue that we should give the teachers a LONGER length contract. Lock them into 2013 rates for as long as we can, since salaries only ever go up.
steve revette February 19, 2013 at 03:44 PM
Exactly they get retro pay. I can't name one private sector job where you get retro pay. I might be wrong I might not. Also everybody's health insurance went up mine included. Also unlike teachers even though I've been at my job for six plus years I can still get fired. I don't think you should really call having excessive perks from the beginning a loss. Remember teachers have one of the greatest perks of all. They can almost never be fired.
Roman Hoshowsky February 20, 2013 at 02:48 AM
Pathetic!
Pat Ahearn February 20, 2013 at 03:48 AM
Coach Hurta got screwed...plain and simple. The transition from Coach Bertola to Jay should have been seamless. Could these idiots do one thing for THE KIDS by giving them some form of consistency? This hiring stinks of cronyism. How the powers that be were able to blow this opportunity is beyond me. This program needed someone like Jay who would be with this program for the next decade or more. He grew up in this town, played for PHS, is an alumnus and is a tenured teacher at PHS. I get it that the new hire has considerable HC experience, but what does he know about our town? What does he know about our kids? What kind of effort is he going to be willing to give? My guess is he's "one and done" and the kids will be looking at yet another coach prior to the 2013-2014 school year.
friend of parsppany February 20, 2013 at 11:56 AM
Maybe jay was a choice I do not know but I hear there are many talented football Coaches in the district currently with experience. This job is massive. It is going to take a lot of energy and hours. The AD has very little knowledge about athlectics. Wants to be principal. Kids suffer.
LGDIII February 21, 2013 at 05:01 PM
There are certainly better candidates then a fired coach who won 4 games in his last 3 years as head coach and then assisted last year. Especially one who is on top of the pay scale and we create a job out of thin air for. For this teaching job to magically appear to get a proven NON Winner in the door and who just happens to be from South Plainfield smacks of BULLS#@T
blarney February 21, 2013 at 08:06 PM
So, they hired a 60 yr old coach to turn the program around? I could definitely see that working (said nobody, ever). They should just bring back Coach Yesunas
blarney February 21, 2013 at 08:32 PM
In all seriousness, I don't understand how time after time they get this hire wrong. I don't have dog in this fight since my kids are already out of school. But, as a former student, player and parent of PHS football, I would love to see these present and future players have success. It's unfortunate what happened with Coach Bertola since he really seemed to be a passionate and positive coach. I really thought he would be the one to bring some respectability back to the program. Those darn background checks though, they'll get you every time. This new coach has me scratching my head. If he is the same coach my primitive Google search pulled up, he's 59 years old. Even if he's successful, how many years would it be before another coaching search? How much passion could a "older" coach still have? How many nights is he going to be checking out the P.A.L. program? How much time will he be in the weight room with the kids? The pictures of his teams at S. Plainfield I saw through Google would indicate he may not be a big weight room kind of coach. I hope I'm wrong. I do feel bad for Coach Hurta though if he wanted the job. He played with one of my sons and would have made a great Head Coach at PHS. Good luck to the Redhawks (even though it will always be Redskins to me). I hope this new coach works out and was a informed hire and not just a convenient one.
friend of parsppany February 21, 2013 at 08:43 PM
Maybe jay would have been a good hire,I do not know but it is clear that Fonti the AD knows very little about athletics. He should never have been hired to ve the A.D.How in the works was he allowed w Tom r. To make another hire. They don't seem to do their h.w. Jay,you need to Coach somewhere else if you are interested in your coaching career.
Ann M February 21, 2013 at 11:47 PM
Oh dear God I hope not!!

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