Washington Township, meet Robert Goldschmidt. The board of education approved the township resident as the district?s new superintendent of schools at their work session last night.
As an 18-year resident, Goldschmidt may not be a new face around the town, but he?ll soon become the new face of the school district.
?We?re excited to get the district moving in a new direction,? Board President Stephen Altamuro said.
Speaking briefly during the meeting last night, Goldschmidt said he was eager to ?start to get a real lay of the land from the inside.?
Altamuro addressed the concern regarding public participation in the selection and interview process. Altamuro had previously stated last night would have been the public?s last chance at commenting on the issue, but he felt the board?s unanimous stance on the issue would have made any further delays unnecessary.
He said that when the board members took a straw poll, every piece of paper had Goldschmidt?s name on it.
?Everyone had different reasons, but we all came up with the same decision,? Altamuro said. ?With the tidal wave of approval, it didn?t seem necessary to stretch it out.?
Board Member Josh Aronovitch, who acknowledged he?s been one of the most vocal advocates for further public participation, said he didn?t think additional public contributions would have changed the outcome.
?It wouldn?t have resulted in a different decision,? Aronovitch stated. ?There?s no doubt in anyone?s mind that Mr. Goldschmidt is the right fit for the district.? He also said he was thankful that the process was ?surprisingly smooth.?
Goldschmidt is currently the superintendent at Riverside Township schools in Burlington County. He was contracted to draw an annual salary of $138,000, according to the New Jersey Department of Education website. Altamuro said that while Goldschmidt will be drawing a higher salary than he was in Riverside, it is still ?much less? than the district paid the previous superintendent, Cheryl Simone.
Altamuro was pleased the board found a current township resident for the position, a factor that?s beneficial to both the district and Goldschmidt. ?Now that he?s right in town, he can go to events without driving an hour,? he said. ?It?s a raise in quality of life.?
Altamuro said that Goldschmidt?s contract necessitates a 60-day notice before he can change districts, but that he is working on reducing that time to get started in the township as soon as possible. The board currently expects Goldschmidt?s tenure as superintendent to begin in mid-November.