Manasquan School District has passionate students and staff who love the district, but also communication issues and school board discord — these were two elements a firm says exist that would help court and deter candidates for the district superintendent spot.
As the search for the next superintendent of Manasquan School District continues this month, a firm was at work gathering what the negative and positive qualities the district posesses, and what the community wants the next superintendent to be.
Brief summary is not a final report; that would be done in about a week, said Dr. Rich Marasco, of the firm assisting with the superintendent search.
Marasco said the district is dealing with some negative issues, but on the whole Manasquan would remain an attractive prospect to work for a superintendent. He said there are plenty of things that would help bring in candidates.
"The positive aspects far outweigh the challenges or issues the school district face. So many aspects are attractive," he said. "First and foremost: great kids. They come ready to learn and they like their schools."
The positive and negative aspects and the qualities needed in a superintendent were compiled through meeting with the public, staff and teachers, he said.
More pluses: The Teaching staff gets high grades, quality of program offerings, and improving test scores at the high school.
Challenges are both unique to Manasquan but also faced by many other districts: thing such as finances.
"However Manasquan's finances led to program cuts this year," which compounds the negative, he said. But "Every school district faces financial challenges."
The shape of the facilities' exteriors, issues with difficult students, lacking communication with stakeholders, and school board issues are all negatives the district must overcome, he said.
What does Manasquan want in its next superintendent? According to Marasco's brief:
- Visible, approachable, someone a part of man school community.
- Strong leader but with collaborative style.
- Generally cares about students.
- Someone with excellent interpersonal skills.
- Collaborate with other municipal entities and broader squan community.
- Someone work to make Manasquan better.
Marasco is working for Leadership Advantage to conduct the search for the next superintendent. The board agreed to pay Leadership Advantage a total $9,500 to conduct the search.
In September, the board unanimously confirmed Robert J. Mahon as acting superintendent of schools, hours after district staff were notified that former schools chief Geraldine Margin was going on administrative leave effective immediately.
Mahon said his last date as interim superintendent under the current agreement is June 30.
Mahon, the current mayor of Avon-By-The-Sea who also served as interm superintendent of the Spring Lake Heights school district through June, has been earning a state-mandated fee of $605.77 per day as acting schools chief, officials said.
Mahon is a former superintendent of Ocean Township schools and has served as interm superintendent in several other districts, including Belmar and Brielle.
Leadership Advantage (formerly J & D Associates), has conducted about eighty superintendent searches in New Jersey.