Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

School Chief Denied New Pact

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

School Chief Denied New Pact

Article excerpt

LITTLE FERRY -- Superintendent Frank Scarafile will likely leave the district when his contract expires on June 30 after failing to get enough votes for a three-year contract extension.

The 3-3 stalemate came after a six-member board committee met behind closed doors Thursday for more than two hours to discuss whether to grant the extension. Members emerged around 11:30 p.m. to reveal that they had deadlocked.

Scarafile needed five votes to keep his job, a position he has held for nearly a decade; however, only six of the nine board members are eligible to vote on his employment.

The three others are barred from participating because their relatives work for the district.

The superintendent's future has dominated school board meetings for months, pitting parents and other residents who wanted him to stay, against tight-lipped board trustees who have insisted that they cannot publicly discuss the reasons why some members may be dissatisfied with Scarafile's tenure.

Some board members have stated that they were dissatisfied with the district's test scores and raised questions about a deficit from the 2009-10 school year.

Parents said Scarafile is a visible presence in the borough, who is always responsive to their needs and who cares deeply about their children's welfare.

Many are also incensed that so many trustees cannot participate in one of the most important decisions the board has to make.

"They are not there to make just the easy decisions," Frank Mele, a parent said Friday. "They are there to make the tough decisions, too, and if they have to be disqualified when the major decisions come up, then why are they on the board?"

Some are promising to hold the dissenting voters accountable in the November school board elections.

The trustees did not reveal how they voted on Thursday night, but The Record confirmed Friday that Ray Vorisek, Jeanine Ferrara and John Tronlone voted for the extension, while Jill Ann Pasechnick, Jodi Pasqua and Johanna Jentz voted against it.

"These people are not going to get reelected," another parent, Debi Flanagan, said.

Vorisek said he was disappointed with the outcome, given the changes on the horizon, which include a new teacher evaluation system, technology upgrades and additional standardized testing for students. …

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