Point Boro HS Principal Retiring
Board of Education accepts Linda Rocco's retirement notice
Point Borough High School Principal Linda Rocco is retiring, effective Sept. 1, prompting the district to conduct a statewide search for a replacement.
The Point Borough Board of Education voted unanimously at its workshop meeting Monday night to accept her resignation "for the purpose of retirement," as stated on the meeting agenda.
Rocco, a Spring Lake Heights resident, has been principal of Point Borough High School since 2007 when John Staryak retired from the position, which was a year before Schools Superintendent Vincent Smith was appointed superintendent, Smith said.
Rocco, who also is Supervisor of Performing Arts, earns an annual salary of $145,715 for the current school year, Smith said. Starting July 1, her salary increases to $148,629, he said.
Superintendent Smith said he and and other staff, on Friday, finished writing an advertisement for the position which will run in the Star Ledger newspaper on Wednesday and Sunday, on the New Jersey Hire website and it will also be posted on the school district website.
"We'll have to fast-track this, but without rushing it, because it's a very important decision," Smith said.
He said he expects a lot of resumes to be mailed to the school district by the May 31 deadline mentioned in the advertisement.
"It's a great school with a good reputation, I think we'll get a lot back," Smith said.
He said he also expects to have each candidate have at least two, if not three, interviews with himself and other administrators as part of the selection process.
A copy of the advertisement does not mention a salary, just saying "salary commensurate with experience."
Board Member Ricardo Ruiz asked what's Plan B if a new principal is not in place by Sept. 1.
"Well, we could have an interim principal," Smith said. "That's a possibility. But we can get this done by Sept. 1. It might be a little tough. It could be somebody in house, but I don't want to get into that. We're doing a search and we'll find the best person for the job."
Rocco is complying with a contract requirement to give the district 60 days notice before resigning, Smith said, when asked later about the length of the notice.
Smith said during the meeting, "I really wish Linda well. This is something a lot of people look forward to. This is well-earned and she deserves it. We'll certainly miss her, her leadership at the high school.
"But this is an exciting time, a time for change and for moving forward again," he said.
Longtime Board Member Joan Speroni commended Rocco by saying, "She's been a great part of the high school, she did a great job at the high school."
After the meeting, when asked for Rocco's primary contribution to the high school, Smith said, "I think she's brought a lot of structure to it, which has created more of a positive school climate.
"The kids and staff have great respect for her," he said. "They work well together."
A copy of the advertisement that will be published lists the qualifications for the job, including:
- a state school principal certificate
- strong interpersonal and communication skills;
- extensive curriculum development experience;
- demonstrated leadership in staff development;
- building-level administrator experience;
- innovative program evaluation skills;
- experience implementing school improvement plans;
- committed to integrating technology into curriculum;
- ability to foster a positive home-school relationship;
- budget planning along with some fiscal management experience.
Before Rocco was appointed high school principal, she had been principal of Nellie F. Bennett Elementary School, succeeding Carl Perry. When Rocco was appointed high school principal, James Karaba was appointed Nellie Bennett principal, a position he still holds.
Prior to working as Nellie Bennett principal, Rocco had been a vice principal at the high school, starting in 1999, when she first worked for the Point Borough school district.
Rocco was not at the board's meeting in a conference room at the district's administrative office on Panther Path.
Another staff resignation that was accepted was that of Kristen Burghart, a learning disability teaching consultant at Memorial Middle School, effective June 30.
The board also approved a leave of absence for Amy Delpriora, high school chemistry teacher. She will be on paid maternity leave from Sept. 6 through Sept. 28 and on unpaid family leave from Oct. 1, 2012 through Jan. 18, 2013.