Spotswood in final stages of superintendent search


SPOTSWOOD — School officials are in the final stages of their search for a new superintendent, and may have its decision by month’s end.

Board of Education President Richard O’Brien said last week the interviews were completed and the negotiations process begun. The board expects to hold a special meeting when it will announce the new superintendent.

Current Superintendent John Krewer, who came to Spotswood in January 2006, announced in April that he will retire effective Nov. 1.

O’Brien said the board received 40 applications for the position, and a citizens advisory committee, as well as Krewer, conducted interviews. That whittled the field down to four candidates, who were then interviewed by the school board, O’Brien said.

He said the board is now “finalizing the search,” though he said he was not in a position to say much more about who the person may be.

The new superintendent will officially begin when Krewer’s term ends, although he expects there to be a two-week transition period where both are working together in the district, he said.

“We would hope our new superintend- ent would continue down the curriculum path we’re on due to the fine work of Dr. Krewer,” O’Brien said. “But obviously they will put their own stamp on it.”

In addition to seeking someone with a strong curriculum background, O’Brien said the board also wants someone who will be an efficient leader in the community and an ambassador to Spotswood, as well as to Helmetta and Milltown, which send students to Spotswood schools.

“[Superintendents] need the ability to connect with a variety of people and be an effective leader of the district,” he said, adding that the person must possess great “people skills.”

In addition, O’Brien said, the district wants someone with experience in the classroom and in administrative roles.

“We need someone with an understanding of our community and the types of kids we have,” he said.

He said one challenge that will lie ahead for the new superintendent is the recent state-imposed merging of the Helmetta and Spotswood school districts. It remains unknown whether the state will also take action regarding Milltown’s relationship with Spotswood, possibly forcing further consolidation. At present, Milltown educates its own students in kindergarten through eighth grade, and sends its high school students to Spotswood on a tuition basis.