It is with tremendous pleasure and excitement that the South Orange Maplewood Board of Education announces the appointment of Dr. Ronald Taylor as Superintendent of Schools, effective July 8, 2019.
Dr. Taylor was selected in a robust search process led by Dr. Bill Librera, our search consultant, from West Hudson Associates, which began in August 2018. The search included community meetings and a survey to craft a leadership profile, selection of candidates to be interviewed in a first round with the Board of Education, second round interviews with three finalists. Dr. Taylor emerged as the leading candidate, and subsequent in-depth interviews (including a conversation with the student representative to the Board), background and reference checks, and a site visit by two of the three Board officers confirmed the Board’s conviction that Dr. Taylor is the right educational leader for SOMSD.
Board of Education President Annemarie Maini said: “Dr. Taylor is an exceptional leader with extensive experience, proven results, and outstanding listening and communication skills. Throughout the search process, the Board focused on finding an educational leader who is unwaveringly student-focused and has a track record of results which match our immediate and long-term needs. Dr. Taylor will be an asset to our community as we work to deliver on major initiatives including a $145+MM bond, a complete elementary reconfiguration, and continue to move our district toward deliberate monitoring and oversight using QSAC.”
Dr. Taylor started his career as a kindergarten teacher. He was an assistant principal, as well as an award-winning principal, before moving to a Regional Superintendent role in Newark. He joined Willingboro as Superintendent eight years ago where his research-based, data-driven approach resulted in bringing academic and operational stability to Willingboro.
Dr. Taylor’s eight years of experience as the Superintendent of Willingboro have provided an excellent foundation for him to lead the work to address SOMSD’s current priorities:
More information about his experience in these and other areas is on his attached resume.
We invite the community to join us in welcoming Dr. Taylor to South Orange-Maplewood School District, and look forward to working together to build the infrastructure, systems and educational program which will help all of our students master the skills and knowledge they need to be successful. Dr. Ficarra, the Senior Leaders of Central Office, and the Board of Education are committed to ensuring a smooth transition to our new leadership.
We will be organizing a series of meet and greets between the Superintendent and community members to begin to build relationships and understanding. The first of these will take place on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at 7pm in the CHS Library.
At the November 2018 meeting of the Board of Education, Elizabeth Baker, President of the Board of Education, provided an update on the Superintendent Search, including an overview of the Search Criteria which have been developed, with community input, in the following areas:
* * * * *
In August 2018, the SOMSD Board of Education launched the search for our District’s next Superintendent, and hired Dr. William Librera of West Hudson Associates as the Superintendent Search Consultant to assist in the search process.
The Board chose Dr. Librera based on his expertise as an educational leader, and his two decades of experience as a search consultant, both nationally and within the state of New Jersey. Dr. Librera is a former NJ Commissioner of Education and served as Principal of Columbia High School from 1980-1983, before serving as Superintendent of four different school districts, including Montclair.
Over the next several months, the Board plans to engage in the following search process to hire a Superintendent:
September-October 2018: Development of a Candidate Profile, utilizing inputs from community, parent, and staff. The Board plans to finalize the profile and search criteria by the end of October, and share with the community.
November 2018: Place Advertising for Superintendent position in key publications and outlets.
Winter 2018-2019: Candidate Screening and Interviews, including reviewing resumes, screening and narrowing candidate pool, and conducting interviews of candidates.
Spring 2019: Final Selection of a Superintendent, including reference checks, community engagement and final selection. The Board’s goal is to appoint a new superintendent in Spring 2019.
The Board invites stakeholders to share your input to help the Board define the ideal candidate profile. In order to hear from a wide range of community members, three methods of soliciting input are being utilized:
Please consider providing your input, digitally and/or in person. The SOMSD Board of Education looks forward to engaging with the public as it fulfills its most important role – hiring the next Superintendent. The Board will continue to report on the search process as it proceeds.