The Parsippany Board of Education narrowly approved the hiring of two assistant principals, Thursday, after two rounds of voting to pass the motion.
Two motions came before the Board on Thursday, Aug. 15 to appoint Christian Keegan and Carly Stout to the Assisstant Principal Positions at Parsippany Hills High School each with an annual salary of $99,000.
After a round of voting, the Board approved Keegan with only Board Member Gary Martin abstaining from the vote. Board Member Anthony Mancuso was absent from the meeting.
The initial vote to appoint Stout, which needed five affirmative votes from the Board, failed 4-3. Board Members Dr. Frank Calabria, James Carifi, Fran Orthwein and Board President Susy Golderer voted in favor. Members Anthony DeIntinis, Michael Strumolo and Sharif Shamsudin voted against. Martin again abstained from the vote.
According to Board Attorney Mark Tabakin, Martin's abstaintion counts for the affirmation but does not count towards the five affirmative votes needed to pass the motion.
After it failed, the Board approved a motion to reconsider the appointment of Stout.
“This is a High School of (grades) 9-12 and I need to remind you that it's over 1,000 students,” said Interim Superintendent John Fitzsimons. “To open this High School with one less Assistant Principal at this time of the year, I'm telling you right now we are in jeopardy of having a safe and reasonable place for these children to go.”
Fitzsimons told the board, that in his judgement, they would not be able to find an interim Assistant Principal this close to the beginning of the school year. The board also has a responsibility to make sure they have safe and orderly schools, he added.
“You are jeopardizing that possibility if you defeat this motion,” he told the board members.
Shamsudin and DeIntinis ultimately decided to change their votes, and vote in favor of appointing Stout.
“Considering the fact that school starts in the next couple of weeks and that our next meeting will not be until the middle of September...its too late in the year and there is not enough time to find another viable candidate,” said Shamsudin. “If the administration thinks this is the most viable candidate then I will go with it.”
“We are in it for the kids, not only was I looking out for the well being of the children but the well being of the district so I had to have a change of heart and reconsider my vote,” he added. “I wasn't going to do that to the kids.”