BOE extends contracts to teachers, administrators

By Sherry conohan
Staff Writer

By Sherry conohan
Staff Writer

EATONTOWN — With the opening of school only a week away, the Board of Education voted to extend some teacher contracts.

The board, which has been struggling to deal with a $1.2 million budget deficit, rehired 108 tenured teachers, 14 nontenured teachers and various other personnel for the upcoming year at Monday’s meeting.

Jean E. "Nina" Hoover, the new superintendent of schools, said after the meeting that she still did not have a complete list of how many employees weren’t invited to return to work.

One of those who had been hanging by tenterhooks, Anne Marie Kelly, a kindergarten instructional aide who made a plea to keep her job at last month’s board meeting, got her wish. She was hired as an instructional aide for a kindergarten class at the Vetter School at a salary of $13,500.

Marjorie Boyd, president of the Eatontown Teachers Association and a seventh/eighth-grade science teacher, said the union had been able to resolve a lot of the issues it had with the contracts.

"I expect the few items remaining will be resolved in the near future," she said. "Of course no one likes to lose staff."

Nearly half of all tenured teachers — 45 of 108 — will be earning in excess of $70,000 this year. Nine teachers on the top step of the pay scale, with 25 years or more of teaching experience, a master’s degree and 32 additional hours of college credit, will be paid $79,131.

Another 15 teachers earn between $60,000 and $70,000 a year. The lowest salary for a tenured teacher was $39,188, which is step 4 with a bachelor’s degree.

Upon the advice of its attorney, Dennis A. Collins, the board removed the salary figure while extending a contract to Charles Bickart and Wayne Grove, the two teachers from the Walpack Environmental Center at the Delaware Water Gap that the school district discontinued. Collins said the board wanted to check to see if the salary figure was correct.

Both Grove, who will be a grade eight science teacher at the Memorial School this year, and Bickart, who will be a grade seven science teacher at the Memorial School, were listed for salaries of $72,731. Both are on step 25 with bachelor of science degrees.

Because they continued to work during the summer at Walpack with camps after school was let out, they re­ceived extra pay, officials said.

Contracts were also offered to tenured administrators. Ronald S. Danielson, prin­cipal of the Memorial School; Paul Desmond, principal of the Meadowbrook School; and Lee Lasser, who oversees special education and guidance services for the district, will all be paid $110,900 plus $5,000 for longevity.

Antoni Mrozinski, principal of the Vetter School, gets a flat $110,900, and Barbara Struble, principal of the Woodmere School, will be paid $103,000 plus $3,000 in longevity pay.

There also was a new hire of Jamie L. Hollins as music teacher at the Woodmere School at a salary of $37,125.

Appointed to extracurricular activities positions for the new year at the Memorial School were William Lindblom, varsity cross country coach, at $2,821 plus $400, and Douglas Hughes, boys’ varsity soccer coach, and Kimberly Howell, girls’ varsity soccer coach, at $2,821 each.

The board also appointed Sam Siciliano as the interim school business administra­tor at an hourly rate of $65, not to exceed 25 hours per week, starting immediately.

He will serve in that post until such time as a full-time business administrator is hired.

The board formally accepted the gift of $375 from the Fort Monmouth Officers’ Wives Club for use on speed stackers at the Vetter School.

The new school year begins with a pro­fessional staff day for teachers at the Memorial School Tuesday, and will open for students on Wednesday.